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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 16:44 UK

Evra charged over Bridge 'brawl'

A Chelsea groundsman aims a punch at Man Utd's Patrice Evra
Man Utd players were warming down when the scuffle broke out

Manchester United's Patrice Evra has been charged with improper conduct for his part in a fracas after United's league defeat to Chelsea in April.

The Football Association has also charged Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell with improper conduct.

The row started when United players, including Evra, were warming down and asked to move by Chelsea groundstaff.

A date for the hearing has not yet been set but if he is found guilty Evra could be fined or handed a ban.

Bethell has also been charged with using abusive language aggravated by reference to nationality and or race.

But Chelsea reacted strongly to the charge levelled at their groundsman, issuing a statement.

It read: "We believe there is no foundation whatsoever to claims that the incident which occurred after the Manchester United match on April 26 involved comments based on nationality or race, which has led to an FA charge against one of our employees.

"Chelsea FC condemn all forms of discrimination in football and society.

"Such allegations against our club are extremely serious and Chelsea will not be making any further comment until we have assessed all the implications of the charge."

United defender Rio Ferdinand has been reminded of his responsibilities to the game of football for his part in the incident after the 2-1 victory for Chelsea.

He accidentally struck a member of the Chelsea staff with a door he kicked in anger as he made his way off the field.

But has since apologised and sent the female staff member a bunch of flowers.

Manchester United and Chelsea both submitted reports into the fracas which took place at Stamford Bridge on 26 April.

606: DEBATE

The FA also took witness statements during their investigations.

"The charges are the result of a thorough investigation conducted by the FA over the last three months," read an FA statement.

"In bringing the charges, the FA used video evidence, CCTV footage and various witness statements from individuals present."

It could be some time before a hearing is arranged as both clubs are on pre-season tours with United back to take on Portsmouth in the Premier League curtain-raiser, the Community Shield, on 10 August.


see also
Clubs to submit 'brawl' reports
08 May 08 |  Premier League
Pressure now on Man Utd - Grant
06 May 08 |  Chelsea
Ferguson piles stress on Chelsea
04 May 08 |  Premier League
Word on the 'Battle of the Bridge'
28 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Queiroz questions referee Wiley
26 Apr 08 |  Man Utd
Man Utd could crack, says Grant
26 Apr 08 |  Chelsea
Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd
26 Apr 08 |  Premier League



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