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Sheffield Utd retract training offer to Evans

Sheffield United last night retracted their offer to former player and convicted rapist Ched Evans to use their facilities for training purposes.

The club said: "We recognise that a number of our supporters will be disappointed with this decision, but would ask that they remember the responsibilities we have not only to a fine and proud club, whose history stretches back over 125 years, but also to the communities in which Sheffield United is active and to the city we represent."

The club's decision to allow Evans the opportunity to train has sparked controversy.

The 25-year-old was released last month after serving half of a five-year jail sentence following his conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman. The player has always maintained his innocence despite being found guilty.

The statement said that members of the board had consulted dispassionately with supporters, vice presidents, Community Foundation members, executives, staff, sponsors and other relevant stakeholders in order to help the club reach the decision.

"Also, the club has been diligent in communicating with the Football Association, the Football League, the Professional Footballers' Association (the PFA), the Football Association of Wales and the National Probation Service to take further soundings."

Irish Independent