FA will appeal against penalty imposed by its own panel over ex-Crawley manager John Yems' 'racism'

The FA announced it will be appealing against the penalty imposed by its own independent panel on John Yems, who has been banned from football until June 2024.

The FA is calling for a harsher punishment for the 63-year-old former Crawley Town manager.

An FA Spokesperson said: "We are appealing the sanction imposed by the Independent Panel on John Yems. We believe a longer sanction is appropriate. We are unable to comment further until the appeal is complete."

Yems was found guilty of 11 offences and admitted to one charge over a series of offensive comments made between 2019 and 2022 while he managed the League Two club.

The FA's independent panel found he had referenced his players' ethnic origin and colour and banned him for 18 months, but found that he was "not a conscious racist" nor did he "ever intend to make racist remarks".

The panel's decisions caused dismay at the FA and football's anti-racism body Kick It Out.

The FA told Sky News: "We had requested a longer ban. Based on the evidence presented to the commission, we don't agree that the panel should have found that this was not a case of conscious racism."

A sanctions document indicates the FA pushed for a two-year suspension.

Kick It Out said the findings set a "dangerous precedent" by allowing a perpetrator to claim harmful language was "banter".

It said: "The behaviour outlined in the report must be called out for exactly what it is: racism and Islamophobia."

It added that the ban was a "slap in the face of the victims of the discriminatory abuse" detailed in the report and to those who faced racism or Islamophobia.

Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett told Sky Sports News: "I don't know John Yems, but unless the FA are channelling some sort of superpower that I'm not aware of, they have no jurisdiction and they're actually not qualified to assess whether any individual is a racist or not.

"So how you can reach a conclusion like that in a case like this is completely beyond me."

Yems was fired from Crawley in May 2022.

The football club appointed Scott Lindsey as its manager at the beginning of January as they linger near the foot of the League Two table.