Manchester United withdraw appeal against Phil Jones’ two game UEFA ban

by Leo Nieboer

Phil Jones will miss Manchester United’s opening Champions League group game against FC Basel this month after Manchester United decided to withdraw their appeal against the Englishman’s two game UEFA ban.

The defender was fined €5,000 and handed a two match ban after using “abusive” language towards a doping official following Man United’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final back in May.

Jones recently described the ban as “harsh” and United had planned to launch an appeal against what is clearly an excessive punishment.

But the club has now decided against making an appeal to the UEFA bureaucracy and Jones, who has already missed the UEFA Super Cup, will now have to watch on from the sidelines for the Basel clash.

UEFA’s logic here is chilling to say the least. In theory, they consider a player breaking somebody’s leg with a two-footed tackle as less of a crime than a torrent of expletives being sent in the direction of one of their officials.

Jones has made the mistake of meddling with the beast itself – or at least an extension of the beast in the form of an employee. The defender, who has made a brilliant start to the season, will now have to watch on as Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof start at the back against the Swiss champions.

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