Vardy accepts FA charge
LEICESTER, England (AP):
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has accepted an English Football Association improper conduct charge over his reaction to being sent off against West Ham.
Vardy's standard one-match ban could now be lengthened, potentially hitting Leicester's bid for a first Premier League title. The team is five points ahead of Tottenham with four games remaining.
Vardy tangled with Angelo Ogbonna before going down in the penalty area early in the second half on Sunday. Vardy angrily confronted referee Jon Moss after receiving his first red card of the season.
At the time, Leicester were leading through Vardy's 22nd goal of the season and went on to draw 2-2.
Leicester also tweeted that it accepted an FA charge of failing to control its players after West Ham was awarded a late penalty.
Hodgson backs Vardy
England coach Roy Hodgson backed Jamie Vardy on Wednesday, saying the Leicester striker did not dive in the incident that led to him being sent off last weekend and sympathising with his angry response to the referee.
Hodgson's employer, the English Football Association, charged Vardy with improper conduct over his reaction to the red card in Sunday's 2-2 draw with West Ham.
"I don't see that as a dive," Hodgson said. "I think he was unbalanced. I don't think it was a penalty either, I think he was unbalanced, running at that speed.
"I think there was a very slight sort of contact with the defender, who was trying to cover."
Vardy confronted referee Jon Moss, jabbing a finger at the match official while appearing to express his anger at receiving his first red card of the season.
"I sympathise with him, I think he was very, very unlucky," Hodgson said. "But now he has had to swallow the fact that he has been made to leave the field and then, unfortunately, he has reacted like sometimes human beings react.
"He hasn't just said to the ref, 'Thanks very much, I understand' and shakes hands and 'Have a good game'. He has called him a few names, but he is a human being and that can happen."
Vardy seems certain to be in Hodgson's plans for the European Championship in June and July after leading Leicester's stunning pursuit of a first-ever top flight title.
Former BPL player wins appeal
A British court overturned the rape conviction of former Premier League player Ched Evans yesterday and ordered a new trial.
Evans, a former Sheffield United and Wales striker, was in the packed London courtroom with his girlfriend when the verdict was read out by the Court of Appeal.
Evans was convicted in April 2012 of raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel in Rhyl, north Wales. He was released from prison last year after serving half of his five-year sentence.
The 27-year-old Evans had always maintained his innocence and took his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.