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Footballer banned for racial abuse

    A Maccabi Premier Division footballer who racially abused a fellow Jewish player has been fined and banned from football for six months.

    Ashley Rubin called opposition striker Virgil Levy, who is of South American origin, “Paki” and told him during a game in April that he did not belong in the community or in the league.

    The London FA has now banned Mr Rubin from all amateur football for 182 days and fined him £100.

    He had been playing for Glenthorne at the time of the incident, but was expelled by the club following an internal investigation. His team-mate Jamie Cooper was fined £100 and warned about his future conduct.

    Last month, insolvency practitioner Mr Levy said he was outraged at the length of time the London FA had spent looking into the case. He said this week he remained “despondent” despite the outcome.

    “The ban is reflective of the incident and appears to be a worthy punishment, though the fine is itself not reflective. I have returned to Jewish football and aim to gain promotion with my team. I would wish this on no other person and am glad that we can all finally put this to bed.”

    A spokesman for Mr Levy’s club, Montana Boca, said: “We feel the punishment served is satisfactory and just. The nagging issue is why it took so long to reach this outcome. That said, we are pleased to draw a line under the matter.”

    David Wolff, Maccabi League chairman, supported the “lengthy suspension”, adding: “This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable at any level and will not be tolerated.”

    Explaining the length of the investigation, David Fowkes, London FA chief executive, blamed the delay on problems identifying who was responsible.

    He said the punishment would “set a benchmark” for future racial abuse cases.

    Asked for his view of the incident and punishment, Mr Rubin said: “It’s irrelevant. I’m hearing all sorts of stuff; that I’ve been fined, that it’s been dropped. It’s not something on my mind. Nobody has told me anything.”

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