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Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard calls on FA to make decision on whether to punish Shaun Tuck
BRIAN Pritchard has urged the Football Association to decide quickly if it plans to charge Witton Albion striker Shaun Tuck following his release from prison.
The front man, jailed last month after admitting he posted offensive messages on a social networking website following the murder of a British soldier in London, is back in training with his teammates.
He watched last weekend’s double-header – a home defeat against Barwell on Saturday followed by a first win of the season at Nantwich 48 hours later – from the stands.
The 27-year-old last played a competitive match in April’s promotion play-offs semi final at FC United of Manchester.
Although short of fitness after missing all of pre-season, last term’s top scorer is available for selection.
However the club is reluctant to include him again until the game’s governing body has made clear its intention.
The Guardian asked the FA to comment, but has still to receive a reply.
Pritchard said: “I’m in a situation I feel is a no-win.
“I could pick Shaun, and bear the brunt of what people wish to say in term of accusing us of brushing things under the carpet which we absolutely are not.
“Or should I wait for the FA? In my opinion, it’s inevitable they will get involved.
“I’ll say this though; if this case involved a Premier League footballer earning millions of pounds a season, would we be waiting for a decision?
“It’s not fair on anybody. Do we play him, only then to lose him again to suspension if that’s what is decided?
“It’s hindering me doing my job as it’s a distraction from what I’m trying to do. I’d ask the FA politely to get on with it so we know where we stand.”
Earlier this month, Witton chairman Mark Harris told Albion’s official podcast he expects Tuck to be punished by the FA after serving half of a three-month custodial sentence.
He said: “I think there will be a sanction, because the FA is able to act using the ‘catch-all’ of bringing the game into disrepute.
“We can’t bring this to a conclusion from the club’s perspective until officials at Wembley make a decision as to whether to charge Shaun.
“There will be further disciplinary action internally – the maximum his contract will allow.”
On Friday, Pritchard told the Guardian that Tuck is still not physically ready to play.
He said: “He’s getting there, and is working hard. But he’s not at the level of the other players. How could he be in such a short space of time?”
Albion host Kings Lynn in the Premier Division today, Saturday.
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