Chimbonda ready to play again at 44

Retired France defender Pascal Chimbonda has registered as a player for Skelmersdale United, the struggling ninth-tier English side the 44-year-old now manages, after collecting a touchline ban.

Chimbonda, who made one appearance for France in 2006 and played in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers, retired in 2019.

He took over as manager of Skelmersdale last October, with the club now bottom of the North West Counties Football League Premier Division.

Chimbonda was handed a five-match stadium ban, later reduced to a three-match touchline ban on appeal, less than a week after joining when he was sent off for leaving his technical area during a game against Barnoldswick Town.

“Although we believe the punishment is still excessive, we are much happier with the outcome as this will allow Pascal to continue working, whereas the original ban had it been upheld would have prevented him from doing so,” the club said in a statement.

“Providing there aren’t any postponements over the next few games, Pascal will be able to return to the dugout in time for our away game at Gigg Lane, Bury.

“In other news, Pascal is now registered as a player and we could indeed see him play against Bury on Saturday 27th January.” – Reuters

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