Leyton Orient president receives ban for kicking coach
Leyton Orient president Francesco Becchetti has been handed a six-match stadium ban and fined $57,000 by the English Football Association after being found guilty of violent conduct.
The 49-year-old Italian’s punishment is in relation to an incident which occurred immediately after Orient’s 3-2 home win against Portsmouth on Boxing Day when television pictures showed him taking a kick at the club’s assistant boss Andy Hessenthaler on the pitch after the final whistle.
Orient claimed afterwards the incident had been "part of an ongoing good-natured exchange between the two over the past few weeks."
But an FA statement read: "Francesco Becchetti will serve a six-match stadium ban after a charge of violent conduct against him was found proven, following an independent regulatory commission hearing. The suspension has been stayed pending any decision regarding an appeal."
The statement added: "The Leyton Orient president and club owner admitted his behavior at the end of the game against Portsmouth on December 26, 2015 amounted to improper conduct, however, he denied it was violent. Along with his match-day ban from six first-team matches in approved competitions, Mr. Becchetti was also fined £40,000 ($57,000) and warned as to his future conduct."
The League Two club responded to the ban and fine, saying in a statement: "In response to the charge brought by football’s governing body, the Football Association, Mr. Becchetti, Leyton Orient’s President, admitted improper conduct but strongly denied violent conduct. Mr Becchetti was also granted a personal hearing on request.
"Mr. Becchetti however is deeply disappointed with the decision that has been taken by the Football Association Regulatory Commission, which he does not believe reflects the events on Boxing Day. Mr. Becchetti will consider an appeal upon reviewing the written reasons of the Panel."