A popular and dedicated children’s football coach has been banned from coaching for two years by the Carmarthenshire Association Football League (CAFL).

Warning: this article includes  images some readers may find disturbing and or offensive.

Michael Bassett who coaches the Evans & Williams team in Llanelli and who organises a huge football festival for children each year has been banned from football for 2 years for posting a comment on his friend’s private Facebook page, which was not in the ‘public’ domain. The post shows a picture of three cartoon clowns and written below it states: “Live footage of the Carmarthenshire League meeting to discuss pitches.”

Mr Bassett was summoned to a meeting of the CAFL at the Calsonic Club on Monday (Sep 3). Mr Bassett claims that he was not allowed to speak at the meeting, which he and a witness described as ‘hostile’.

At the meeting the main allegation was that Mr Bassett had posted the comment on the website of Wales Online but that was later corrected to Llanelli Online. In an email to the Evans & Williams club

The clowns: The offensive post which cost Mr Bassett a two year ban

Colin Jenkins who is listed as ‘Hon. General Secretary of Carmarthenshire Association Football League’ wrote:

Ian

I refer to the comments below from Michael Bassett that appeared on Wales on Line (sic) on Aug 3rd.

Under Rule 30(b) it refers to offensive material on Social Networking.

Could your club and Mr Bassett (sic), are requested to attend a League Executive Meeting, on Monday Sept 3rd at 6.45pm, at the Calsonic Sports & Social Club, to explain why the comments below were posted on line.

Regards Colin

In response the Junior Secretary of Evans & Williams wrote to say

Rule 30b Websites, states “If a Club Website and any other Social Networking Services deemed to be offensive to opponents/referees or Executive Council Members, then the offending club will be required to appear before the Executive Council and if unable to provide satisfactory explanation of it’s conduct, will be liable to a fine of £50, and may be suspended.”

This post was not published on any Evans & Williams FC social media account or website.

Whatever any members of Evans & Williams posts on his personal social media accounts, is that individuals personal opinion and does not represent the views of Evans & Williams Football Club.

The original article was posted on Llanelli Online. In this particular case the article had been shared by a Facebook friend of Mr Bassett. It was a personal Facebook post between friends and was not posted on the original Llanelli Online article, therefore was not in the public domain.

Mr Bassett is concerned that he is being stalked on Facebook. Can you please reveal the identity of the person/s who took the screenshot?

Llanelli Online also made it clear in our email that Mr Bassett has never commented on our article
The article was published and shared across our social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter the same day. We monitor both these platforms hourly.

Llanelli Online drew to the attention of the panel posts on Social Media allegedly made by two of the representatives on the panel on Monday (Sep 3) during Mr Bassett’s hearing. We asked Mr Jenkins if he could either confirm or deny that these were the same people who sat on the panel.

We asked:

To the best of your knowledge have you given Mr Bassett a fair hearing and considered all the facts and evidence including anything Mr Bassett wished to submit at that hearing?

Did named persons – members of the panel make the following posts on social Media?

If it is the same named person or persons responsible for sharing the attached posts on social media who sat on the panel would you consider them as suitable for such a role?

If given it is the same named person or persons who shared these highly offensive posts will you be applying the same rules, i.e. Under Rule 30(b) it refers to offensive material on Social Networking to those named person or persons?

Given that you have now been provided with further information, which unequivocally proves that Mr Bassett did not post any such material on Llanelli Online’s website nor its social media, will you be retracting the judgement you have imposed on him and be issuing a full apology?

Following the meeting Mr Bassett was banned from coaching for two years and fined £50.

Two of the members of the panel have been approached for comment following posts allegedly shared on their Facebook pages, which contain references to supporting the Far Right’s Tommy Robinson and the controversial politician Enoch Powell. One post allegedly shared by one of the members of the panel states: “I support Tommy Robinson Are you brave enough to share?” Another post states: “I’m so broke I’m being sponsored by a kid in Africa.”

The following images were allegedly posted on social media by some members of the panel. 

We tried calling Colin Jenkins at 3:20 today before we went to publication. Mr Jenkins said that he did not wish to comment on the matter.

We have not received any response from any of the members of the panel we emailed yesterday evening.

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