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By ESPN Staff

FA widens fast-track process

The Football Association has expended its "fast-track'' disciplinary process to cover more misconduct cases.

It means all straightforward match-day misconduct cases, including post-match comments to the media, can now be dealt with quicker from the Premier League down to the Conference.

In launching the new deadlines, the FA will raise charges within three working days, giving the person affected three further days to respond. Paper cases will then be held within three days and those involving personal hearings being done within 10.

The new regulations have been drawn up after a period of detailed consultation with representatives from, amongst others, the Premier League, Football League, the PFA and the League Managers' Association. It is felt this is a natural step forward following the success of the fast-track system, which ensured players are now suspended with immediate effect.

Each case will be categorised standard or non-standard depending on the participant's previous record. Standard cases will apply for first time offences, taking into account the current and preceding season. Non-standard cases refer to repeat offences or those of a more serious nature.

In standard cases a set penalty will be offered with the charge, with a one-third reduction on offer for those who accept. However, if a charge is denied and is subsequently proven, the penalty which will then apply will be higher than the one offered. In this instance a participant may request a personal hearing, to be heard within ten days of their response.

In non-standard cases no penalty will be offered with the charge letter and any penalty ultimately imposed by a Regulatory Commission will be at their discretion. In these instances participants can request a personal hearing.

Darren Bailey, director of football governance and regulation, said: "The new procedures are designed to provide a faster more streamlined, transparent and consistent framework for a broader range of football disciplinary offences. From this season the aim is to have all standard football misconduct cases covered by the scheme dealt with in days and not weeks.

"We believe that the new standard procedures, on which there has been close consultation with game stakeholders, will further enhance the disciplinary process which in turn will benefit the game and all participants.''


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