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Sports News
Laryea Kingston 3/12/2007
Layrea Kingston must feel pretty daft today if he did, indeed, accuse Steve Conroy, the referee at Pittodrie, of racism. The referee, who was left with a bad taste in his mouth, has a black wife. Praised for his quick feet and shrewd football brain in recent weeks, Kingston has been Hearts'''' most creative player since he joined the club on loan during the transfer window from Russia.

He scored a fine equaliser from a free-kick against St Mirren and supplied the crosses for both goals against Motherwell in a man-of-the-match performance last week. However, the Ghana internationalist came to Scotland with disciplinary baggage. Last summer he missed out on the World Cup finals because of a record four-match ban earned during the Africa Cup of Nations.

At Pittodrie, Kingston let himself and Hearts down with a stormy reaction to being booked and sent off. Although his first caution appeared harsh - it emerged later the booking was for persistent fouling - the player''''s show of dissent might have persuaded another referee to send him off there and then. Having confronted Conroy and wagged his finger at the referee, the player on loan from Terek Grozny was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch. With the benefit of hindsight, Hearts should have substituted Kingston for his own good and allowed him to calm down on the bench. As it was, when the midfielder subsequently caught Barry Nicholson with a high, late challenge, Conroy deemed the offence reckless and sent him off.

Although the foul may have been mistimed rather then mischievous, Kingston again reacted badly to the referee''''s decision, making gestures, removing his shirt and shaking his fist defiantly at the travelling support from Edinburgh. Later it transpired that Kingston was said to have called the referee a racist and that several players overheard the accusation.

Irrespective of the fact that referee Conroy is married to a black woman, the SFA is likely to take a dim view of Kingston''''s rash conduct. His enforced absence at a time when Hearts already have 11 players out through injury will do nothing to assist the club''''s hopes in the weeks ahead of salvaging a place in European football next season.

source: scotsman

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