Peter Beardsley pulls out of Hong Kong Sevens, where he was due to play alongside Newcastle Under 23s, as he awaits hearing into charges of racism against academy players
- Peter Beardsley was due to play alongside Newcastle Under 23s in Hong Kong
- However, he has pulled out of the Hong Kong Sevens on eve of tournament
- Beardsley is awaiting a hearing into charges of racism against academy players
Peter Beardsley has withdrawn from the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens on the eve of the tournament, Sportsmail can reveal.
We reported on Tuesday that he was set to take part alongside Newcastle United Under 23s this week, with the Football Association yet to confirm a date for his hearing into three charges of using racist and abusive language towards the club’s academy players.
But Beardsley has now informed organisers that he will not be attending ahead of Wednesday’s first round of matches, citing family reasons for his decision not to travel.
Peter Beardsley will not play in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens – where Newcastle U23s are
The 58-year-old’s planned presence had been a cause for concern and arrangements were made so that his PlayOn Pros masters team did not come into contact with Newcastle’s players when leaving or entering the pitch at the Hong Kong Football Club.
The PlayOn team, which is put together by Viv Anderson and includes David James, Darren Bent, Michael Gray and Emile Heskey, have also been forced to relocate from the Park Lane Hotel where Newcastle and all other participants are staying. Their squad is now one player short.
Sources in Hong Kong say Beardsley’s withdrawal has been met with relief given that holders Newcastle were not comfortable with his participation.
Beardsley’s withdrawal has been met with relief given that Newcastle were not comfortable
Organisers felt powerless to prevent his involvement after Anderson informed them that his former England team-mate would be part of the squad, and felt they could not be seen to pre-judge Beardsley’s case.
Beardsley – who has denied the charges – had his contract terminated as Newcastle Under 23s coach in March after a 14-month investigation into claims brought by several players.
Meanwhile, we can reveal that Newcastle did not include Beardsley on a limited edition print of 50 club legends given to executive box holders, even though he ranks as arguably their greatest player.
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