Mansfield Town seek advice over fighting Adi Yussuf ban after urination row

Distraught Mansfield Town striker Adi Yussuf is speaking to the Professional Footballers Association union over his stinging five-game ban for public urination during the game at Plymouth Argyle last month.

Monday, 14th March 2016, 12:35 pm
Updated Monday, 14th March 2016, 1:01 pm
Adi Yussuf - Pic By James Williamson

Stags chairman John Radford is also speaking to solicitors to see if the club can in any way fight a suspension that has shocked football.

Yussuf was warming up to go on as substitute when he needed to answer the call of nature and a Plymouth steward and two home players showed him where he could go discreetly behind a stand out of view.

However, subsequent complaints made have been upheld by the FA who handed out the unprecedented ban.

“We heard Friday morning,” said furious boss Adam Murray. “We’d already had a letter through from the FA and we thought that was it. It was a small fine.

“We had to submit statements about what happened. Then all of a sudden people have changed their stories. It’s a co-incidence that everyone who has put a statement in are now all saying the same!

“It’s really frustrating. By the sound of it, the ban has been made out to be worse than racism and nearly as bad as eating someone.

“It seems to me for some reason that they have chosen to make an example of Adi, whether it’s because an unusual situation as it may be one of the first. But it’s very harsh.

“Adi is devastated. He is gutted and shocked. I think he is talking to the PFA as he wants to see if there is anything he can do as it’s a very harsh ban. Everyone has said it. Everyone knows it.

“I know the chairman is speaking to his solicitor to see if there is anything we can do. But I think we’ve all seen with the FA, they don’t answer to anyone so you can’t really win.

“What we will do is let them know we think it’s out of order. The whole of football thinks it’s out of order.”

Murray added: “If he’d stood on the corner flag and dropped his kecks and stood there going for it then, yes, ban him for 10 games. But he hasn’t. It’s been made out so much worse, I think the ban’s been given that he’s run round the pitch naked weeing everywhere.

“Adi has asked a member of the football club’s officials where do I go to the toilet? I am in the middle of a game, I might be going on soon, the changing rooms are about six minutes away so by the time I’ve got there and got back if I am not ready the manager is going to kill me.

“So their subs went to the toilet and came back. He asked if that’s where we go and they said yes. No one has actually seen him.

“The thing is players have been doing that at Plymouth all season.”

The Stags boss made it clear: “We don’t condone going to the toilet in public places or weeing up stadiums, let’s get that right.

“But it was in the heat of the moment with a game going on.

“As a professional you have to prepare right and hydrate. He’d been on the bench getting his fluids in and needed to go to the toilet.

“He has followed the protocol he thought was right and been punished for that.

“It’s hurt us as he’s won a lot of games for us and made a massive impact for us - especially games like Saturday when it’s really close.

“You know if you put him on the pitch he will either get a chance or create you one. We didn’t really have that did we? So we are very disappointed and very surprised.

“It’s taken away half of his season that’s left and he was coming into a good run of form. He was looking strong and fit. We sat down and had a chat and said it was time now to come in and start games. But now he’s banned.

“He’s not happy, the same as all of us, but we have to take it on the chin and get on with it.”

The FA statement on Friday had read: Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Adi Yussuf has been suspended from all domestic club football for five first team competitive matches and fined £700 after he admitted an FA misconduct charge.

“It follows a breach of FA Rule E3 by the Mansfield Town player in or around the 30th and 53rd minute of the league fixture against Plymouth Argyle on 13 February 2016.

“The decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission, which sat on Thursday 10 March 2016, also included a warning as to the player’s future conduct.”

With Craig Westcarr out on loan and Chris Beardsley short of full fitness, it currently leaves Mansfield with one fully fit and available striker in Matt Green.