The Football Association has released the written reasons behind Morecambe midfielder Yann Songo’o’s six-game ban for using a homophobic slur.
The document said: “The reason he had made the comment was because the opponent in question had moved close to him. When [Songo’o] asked what he was doing, the opponent said he was going to kiss him on the lips.”
The FA did, however, say Songo’o had apologised and “expressed considerable remorse and explained that, because English is not his first language, he had not appreciated the offence which his comment would cause.”
Songo’o was suspended for six matches and must complete face-to-face education after admitting the charge for making the slur during a League Two match in January.
He was sent off by referee Paul Howard during Morecambe’s fixture at home to fellow promotion chasers Tranmere on January 30.
After launching an investigation, the FA found the 29-year-old used “abusive and/or insulting language” that included “a reference to sexual orientation”, which constitutes an aggravated breach as outlined by FA Rule E3.2.
Songo’o, who will miss a further three matches after already serving three matches of his suspension, has apologised for the incident.
“I’d like to offer a sincere apology for any offence I’ve caused,” he said in response to the FA’s findings last week.
“I’m really disappointed in myself for using that term, because it does not reflect the type of person I am but it was under provocation.
“I’m totally against any form of discrimination and I know what I said was totally unacceptable, I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness to anyone I offended.”
In a statement, Morecambe Football Club said they “fully accept” the FA’s decision.
“The club would like to once again stress that it abhors abuse of any sort be it on the grounds of race, colour, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation,” the statement said.
“We are a community-based family club that has high expectations of its players and staff and Yann’s behaviour fell short of those expectations in this instance.
“We will reinforce our commitment to making Morecambe Football Club a wholly inclusive environment and we will remind all football and non-football staff of their responsibility to promote and support such an environment through comprehensive diversity, equality and inclusion training.”
Kick It Out reporting discrimination
Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.