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May 5, 2010

FA charge Birmingham's Johnson after derby rant

The Football Association has charged Roger Johnson with two counts of improper conduct for the Birmingham defender's rant after the derby match with Aston Villa in April.

Birmingham were charged with failing to control their players following the angry scenes near the end of their derby defeat, sparked by referee Martin Atkinson awarding a penalty against Johnson for a challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.

The match was decided when James Milner converted the resulting spot-kick with eight minutes remaining, with Johnson later labelling Atkinson "a disgrace''. Television replays showed the defender had got a touch on the ball and Johnson said afterwards: "The referee was a disgrace. He's ruined the match and clearly shouldn't be doing these kind of games - it was too big for him.

"I got the ball cleanly, everyone could see that, and the ref can't make a decision if he's not sure. The rules say if you're not sure, you don't give a penalty.''

The FA asked Johnson to explain his remarks, and the Blues posted a statement on their website confirming the player has been charged. It read: "The FA have today charged Blues defender Roger Johnson relating to media comments made after our fixture against Aston Villa at Villa Park on 25 April 2010.

"Johnson has been charged on two counts, relating to his comments about the match referee and for his comments about The FA Respect programme. Johnson has until 20 May 2010 to respond to the charge.''

Defender Stephen Carr was also charged with improper conduct for allegedly making an offensive gesture to Villa fans at the end of the match. West Midlands Police are also expected to question Carr over the incident.

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