Saturday 16 December 2017

FA hearing overshadows QPR's coronation

QPR were crowned champions and promoted to the Premier League with one match of the Championship season to go with a 2-0 win at Watford yesterday. Goals from star midfielder Adel Taarabt and Tommy Smith wrapped up the points which should see Rangers promoted -- unless they are docked points on Friday.

The English Football Association are due to rule on seven charges relating to the registration of Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlin, which could result in a points deduction that could see Rangers dropped into the play-offs or worse. The FA distanced themselves, however, from a report suggesting QPR were set to be docked 15 points, after the club had demanded immediate clarification following the publication of an article on Friday which cited a source from the organisation.

An FA statement read: "The FA clarifies that no comment has been made regarding charges against QPR. The FA wishes to make clear it dissociates itself from an article concerning QPR's forthcoming disciplinary hearing.

"Any alleged FA source is not speaking on behalf of the FA and the FA's policy remains not to comment on the charges, evidence or potential range of sanctions before the outcome of a disciplinary hearing."

QPR have denied the charges and a four-man panel will meet on Tuesday, with the result of the hearing expected on Friday, the day before the end of the Championship season. A statement from the club demanded clarification on the alleged leak but said they would not make any further comment on the charges until after the hearing.

QPR had a scare before the game as Ireland goalkeeper Paddy Kenny had to be replaced by Radek Cerny following the warm-up, but Neil Warnock's men went on to win comfortably thanks to Taarabt and Smith.

At the other end of the table Sheffield United and Scunthorpe both joined already-relegated Preston and will play League One football next season.

United drew 2-2 at home to Barnsley while Scunthorpe were thumped 5-1 at play-off hopefuls Nottingham Forest, whose three points kept them that distance above Leeds in the final spot. Kris Boyd and Luke Chambers netted a brace each for Forest, who also scored through Paul Anderson and had Robert Earnshaw sent off late on. A Michael O'Connor penalty was a mere consolation for the Iron.

Preston's misery continued as they lost 2-1 at Ipswich to goals from Jason Scotland and David Norris, with Paul Coutts scoring for the visitors. Swansea's 2-0 win at Millwall kept their play-off hopes on course but ended those of the home side, Darren Pratley and Stephen Dobbie netting either side of half-time.

Reading also remain in the play-offs after a 0-0 draw at Coventry but Leeds are just below following their 1-0 home win over Burnley thanks to Ross McCormack's goal.

Doncaster confirmed their Championship status with a 1-1 home draw against Leicester, Steve Brooker scoring for the home side before Ayegbeni Yakubu equalised.

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