Pascal Chimbonda gets five-game ban after ‘fight’ in first game as manager

Former Premier League star Pascal Chimbonda has been hit with a stadium ban following a mass brawl during his first match as a manager.

The former Tottenham, Sunderland, Wigan and Blackburn player, who was also a member of France’s World Cup squad in 2006, was appointed as boss of North West Counties League side Skelmersdale United last month, taking charge of his first match against Barnoldswick Town. It started well enough with the Skem racing into a 3-0 lead in the first half.

However, all hell broke loose in the second half as two Skelmersdale players were sent off amid a series of mass brawls. At one stage, Chimbonda got involved and was sent off for his trouble, along with Barnoldswick's assistant manager, and then Barlick's goalkeeper to boot. Following an investigation into the unsavoury scenes, 44-year-old Chimbonda was charged with improper conduct and has now been hit with a five-match stadium, beginning immediately.

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Fans at the game posted about the chaos as it unfolded, with one describing "three mass brawls". Another supporter said: "Unsavoury scenes. Fight started and now Pascal Chimbonda has got into scrap on the touchline. 2 Skem players have been sent off and so has Chimbonda." A third fan posted: "The game ended with 5 red cards in total – including both managers following a huge fight – and Chimbonda managing most of the second half initially from scaffolding (Wenger-esque) and then shouting from a second floor window after being sent inside. This is non-league heritage."

Chimbonda did plead guilty to the offence of leaving his technical area but insisted he was trying to protect his players from getting hurt in one of the melees. Skem, who sit at the foot of the NWCL Premier League table, have appealed against the ban. Chimbonda's side did at least win the game 4-1, although it’s just one of their three league wins so far for the team this term.

What do you think of Pascal Chimbonda managing in non-league? Tell us in the comments section below

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A thread posted on the club’s official account on X (formerly Twitter) read: “Pascal Chimbonda has been served with a five-match stadium ban for Improper Conduct which will take effect immediately. This is in relation to his sending off on the 21st October 2023 during the game against Barnoldswick Town.

“Pascal would like to state that although he pleaded guilty to the offence of leaving his technical area, he did so with the sole intention of preventing his players from getting hurt in a melee which had developed on the field of play.

“The club have appealed against the severity of the punishment as it doesn’t appear to be proportionate with the offence. Particular as his previous disciplinary record is totally unblemished. The club won’t be releasing any further statements until the outcome of the appeal.”

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