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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 November 2006, 13:13 GMT
Newell faces inquiry on 'sexism'
Luton boss Mike Newell
It is bad enough with the incapable referees and linesmen we have but if you start bringing in women, you have big problems

Mike Newell
Luton manager Mike Newell could be in trouble with the Football Association after launching a scathing attack on women officials.

Newell was furious that assistant referee Amy Rayner failed to award his side a penalty in the 3-2 loss to QPR.

He said: "She shouldn't be here. I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist. This is not park football, so what are women doing here?"

The FA has confirmed it will be examining Newell's remarks.

A spokesman said: "All we can say at the moment is that we will be investigating when we have discovered what was said."

Newell was incensed that Rayner and referee Andy D'Urso failed to award his side a spot-kick when QPR defender Marcus Bignot tangled with Carlos Edwards in the penalty box.

"It is tokenism - for the politically-correct idiots," said Newell.

"We have a problem in this country with political correctness and bringing women into the game is not the way to improve refereeing and officialdom.

"It is absolutely beyond belief. When do we reach a stage when all officials are women because then we are in trouble?

English football needs more Amy Rayners.

Referees' chief Neale Barry

"It is bad enough with the incapable referees and linesmen we have but if you start bringing in women, you have big problems."

606 DEBATE: What do you think of Newell's comments?

But Rayner has received the full backing of Neale Barry - the Football Association's head of senior referee development.

He said: "Amy Rayner is one of our leading female referees and is one step away from the national list of referees.

"At the moment she is a Fifa assistant referee and the FA have nominated her for the Fifa women's referees list for 2007.

"Amy enjoys enormous respect within refereeing circles and has our full support, as do the rest of our female match officials.

"English football needs more Amy Rayners."

Luton 2-3 QPR
10 Nov 06 |  Championship
Hatters manager handed FA warning
31 Oct 06 |  Luton Town
Newell pens new Hatters contract
05 Aug 06 |  Luton Town


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