The Press Association news agency have apologised to Cobblers defender Clarke Carlisle for incorrectly reporting the player was booked for ‘foul and abusive language’ in the 2-1 defeat at Oxford last weekend.
Carlisle, the chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, was sent off for a second booking at the Kassam Stadium for an innocuous foul and, after learning of what was issued on the wires, the club publicly requested a retraction from PA.
A statement on the web site of the PFA, with whom PA cover matches across the Football League, read: “During Saturday’s match between Oxford and Northampton, PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle was shown a second yellow card for a foul and dismissed.
“When entering the information into the database, the analyst incorrectly selected ‘foul and abusive language’ as the reason for the booking.
“The error was spotted during validation and changed at full-time but by this time was already in the public domain.
“We apologise to Clarke for the embarrassment this has caused him.”
Writing in his online blog, Carlisle himself concedes some will have viewed the issue as a ‘storm in a tea cup’ but maintains he had to clarify the matter because he has been working hard to eliminate the use of bad language on the football field.
“My bookings were for a shirt pull and obstruction,” he wrote. “The first of which I congratulated the referee for getting it right, and I jogged silently off the pitch before he’d even produced the second.
“You may ask why there’s any concern. Well, I’ve been campaigning strongly and openly for our industry to clamp down on the language players use on the pitch.
“It is often said that it’s “part of the culture” or “heat of the moment“, but I believe they are excuses, and bad ones at that.”