Football: Crawley player gets five-game ban for confronting fan

(REUTERS) - Crawley Town defender Paul Connolly has been banned for five matches by the Football Association after confronting a supporter who threw the ball at him from the stands during an English League One match last week.

The 30-year-old was charged with violent conduct after the incident involving a Brentford fan near the end of the third-tier match, after which Connolly appeared to raise his arm towards the spectator.

The altercation was missed by the match officials but captured on video, with the FA saying the standard three-match suspension was an insufficient punishment.

"Connolly accepted the charge but denied the standard punishment was clearly insufficient," the FA said on its website ( on Wednesday following a hearing.

"However, the Independent Regulatory Commission found in favour of the FA and ordered that Connolly be suspended for five matches, commencing with immediate effect."

Brentford won the match 1-0 and Connolly can appeal against the decision.

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