Football

Sutton boss says gloss has been taken off fairy-tale run

Wayne Shaw was accused of "taking the gloss" off Sutton United's FA Cup clash with Arsenal after he resigned, following a pie-eating stunt that threatened to fall foul of Football Association betting rules.

The 46-year-old goalkeeper handed in his resignation yesterday, as he prompted a betting probe after he was shown on television tucking into the snack towards the end of their 2-0 loss.

Sutton held their own against a strong Arsenal side on Tuesday, only for manager Paul Doswell to be left dealing with the fallout of Shaw's antics.

The departing custodian admitted after the match he was aware Sun Bets - who also sponsored Sutton's shirts for the night - were offering 8-1 odds on him being shown eating in the dugout during the game.

Both the Football Association and Gambling Commission announced independent investigations into the stunt, which Doswell felt had taken something away from his players on the biggest night of most of their careers.

He said: "Wayne has offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon and that has been accepted. It's a very sad end to what was a very good story.

"He's absolutely devastated - tears down the phone this afternoon.

NO JOY

"There's no joy and nothing good coming out of this particular situation for him.

"It's taken the gloss off my players' performance and gone on to something it shouldn't have gone on to. I feel very sorry for the players in many regards that the spotlight has been taken away from them.

"It was an honest error but one that's had quite sad ramifications. Wayne's been swept along with what's happened in these last three or four weeks."

While custodian Shaw is still awaiting disciplinary action, a Vietnamese goalkeeper has been banned for two years for leading an extraordinary mannequin-style protest when his team stood still and let in three late goals to protest a disputed penalty.

Long An goalkeeper Nguyen Minh Nhut and Huynh Quang Thanh both received two-year playing bans, while the team's coach and chairman were barred for three years, the Vietnam Football Federation said on its website.

In footage which has gone viral, Nguyen turned his back to let in the penalty, which was given in the dying moments with the score at 2-2, and then somersaulted over the ball to concede again from the restart.

With Long An's players standing still and refusing to tackle their opponents, in a football version of the online "Mannequin Challenge" craze, Ho Chi Minh City walked in another late goal to win 5-2.

Fines totalling 160 million dong (S$9,900) were handed out for the protest, which the federation slammed as "disrespectful" to the referee and damaging to the "prestige and honour of the Vietnam Football Federation". - WIRE SERVICES

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