FA discipline case for chairman of junior football club Swindon Centurions (From Swindon Advertiser)
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FA discipline case for chairman of junior football club Swindon Centurions
A JUNIOR football club faces oblivion after its chairman was summoned to appear before an FA disciplinary panel headed by the same official who investigated Chelsea captain John Terry.
Scott Canniford is accused of acting aggressively towards two female officials at the North Wilts League, but denies the charge and is being backed by parents at the newly-formed Swindon Centurions.
Mark Ives, the FA disciplinary manager who presided over the Terry race row, is understood to be overseeing the investigation, which will involve a hearing in Swindon on November 26.
Mr Canniford in turn accuses the league of persistently hampering efforts to set up the under-10s team, culminating in the two formal complaints against him.
The spat takes place in the continued absence of Wilts FA secretary Mike Benson, considered the most important official in the county, after he went on leave with stress several weeks ago.
Mr Canniford faces an allegation of threatening behaviour towards the officials at a Turnstile event held at the Link Centre on September 2 to welcome new teams to the league.
They claim his body language suggested a punch could be coming. However, Mr Canniford is understood to have acquired CCTV footage of the meeting which he will argue proves he did not act out of turn during a discussion with the officials.
He will also claim it shows one of the two women was pointing her finger at him during the exchange.
Mr Canniford is understood to be devastated by the claims and is waiting to hear if the FA will use the footage as evidence.
If the disciplinary process finds against him it could spell the end of the club, which was set up with the help of councillors in Gorse Hill.
The electrical engineer and his wife launched the team this season with the aim of teaching football skills to youngsters of all abilities in a fun environment.
The team’s mission statement reads: “We currently have a boys’ team but are looking forwards to the future and predict we will have a mixed team or even a separate girls’ team.
“The children train with a smile on their face and are proving to have some real talent and a genuine love for the game.”
At the weekend, the team held a Remembrance Day ceremony before its match at Edinburgh Street recreation ground at Gorse Hill.
Wiltshire FA discipline secretary Mark Edmonds said: “This is being handled by the FA at Wembley.”
The national FA did not responded to requests for comment. North Wilts League chairman Andy Ratcliffe said to his knowledge there was no problem with relations with the club and the staff he had spoken to where happy.
He added: “As far as the league is concerned there is an FA hearing on November 26 which Swindon Centurions asked for.”