Rotherham United are staying silent over claims that centre-half Kirk Broadfoot has been given a 10-game ban by the FA.
The club said last night they are unable to comment on the reported suspension for Broadfoot, thought to be the consequence of an on-field verbal clash between him and Wigan Athletic striker James McClean when the Millers played the Latics at AESSEAL New York Stadium last March.
Wigan scored from a free-kick after Republic of Ireland international McClean had appeared to dive while Broadfoot shaped to challenge him.
Broadfoot told The Star afterwards: “He’s cheating. That is cheating. I am nowhere near him and he’s diving.”
There was also no comment from the FA who have never officially announced any charge against the 30-year-old Scot, and there was no mention of the matter on their website.
Derry-born McClean has since moved to West Brom and hit the headlines this week for turning his back on the flag of St George and refusing to sing the national anthem during a pre-season club tour to America.
Broadfoot hasn’t featured in any of the Rotherham squads in their five pre-season matches and missed the final game of last season, at Leeds United in May.
The FA may have felt compelled to act if they believed the spat contained sectarian overtones.
Meanwhile, Rotherham boss Steve Evans has revealed how patience paid off in the pursuit of young midfield ace Grant Ward.
The Tottenham younsgter has been a pre-season sensation since the Millers snapped him up on a six-month loan just a few days after he had started training with them.
But Evans says the 20-year-old, who has been in the Spurs youth set-up and has had spells in America and League One, had been on the club’s radar for more than a year.
“He’s a terrific addition. We tracked him for a long time,” he said. “We knew about him in Spurs Under-21s and then when he went to America to play in the MLS, and we were fully aware of how well he did at Coventry City at the end of last season.”
Ward, who played more than 20 matches for Chicago last year and then helped Coventry stay up, is one of 10 summer signings by Evans who is looking for two more permanent arrivals to complete his squad for the start of the Championship campaign on August 8.
“We first spoke to the people at Tottenham in early May,” the Rotherham boss said. “He’s talented, enthusiastic and just wants to play.
“We’re trying to create competition and are looking for a squad of around 22 - that would be ideal. We already have a great balance of youth and experience.”.
The Millers will hold an open day at New York Stadium on Monday when supporters will be able to meet the first-team squad.
There will be an open training session between 11.30am and 1pm, with an hour-long autograph and photo session straight afterwards.
The limited-edition third kit will be on sale from 9am at the club shop.