(Reuters) - Accrington Stanley midfielder Sam Finley has been banned for eight games for abusing an opponent during a League One (third-tier) match against Rochdale, the Football Association (FA) said on Tuesday.
The FA added that its disciplinary commission concluded that Finley had committed an aggravated breach of the rules by referring to his opponent's nationality.
Finley was alleged to have used a slur against Rochdale's ex-Republic of Ireland defender Paul McShane during a match on New Year's Day.
He denied using the term in an interview with the referee and a subsequent interview with the FA, but "admitted the charge" when formal charges were levelled on Feb. 26, the commission said.
The commission added that they "were content to treat the insult as by reference to nationality only", which along with Finley's admission of guilt, was cited as a mitigating factor in deciding the severity of punishment.
The 27-year-old was also ordered to pay a 750 pounds fine and attend a face-to-face FA education programme.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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