THREE MEN have been charged for hacking the Football Association (FA), one of whom is a senior member of the associations's referee department.
Greater Manchester Police announced the news on Friday, revealing that Liam Cliff, 18, Vincent Rossi, 48, and Dean Mohareb, 30, were charged with "perverting the course of justice and unauthorised access to computer data".
Perhaps most interestingly, Mohareb is the FA's national referee development manager and a Football League match official, and was formally suspended by the governing body after his second arrest, having been stood down from officiating in October 2012.
The Guardian reported that Mohareb has been the subject of an 18 month Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe into the alleged hacking of email accounts of Janine Frampton, former FA national referee manager for eduction and training.
Frampton was dismissed from her job last year, after leaked emails were sent to the press that suggested she offered FA Cup semi-final tickets to a flight steward in return for upgrades on a British Airways flight for herself and three female referees on a work trip.
Following this, anonymous emails were also sent to senior figures in football, including Fifa's president Sepp Blatter, calling for Frampton to be sacked. The anonymous hacker, who adopted the online name "pinkladyref", also posted comments about the case in internet chat rooms, The Guardian reported.
Frampton denied any wrongdoing, and took her former employers to an employment tribunal. In July the FA agreed to an out of court settlement.
Cliff, Rossi and Mohareb are due to appear in court on 5 December. If found guilty, the defendants could receive custodial sentences. µ