Footballer abandons appeal against ‘homophobic gesture’ conviction

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A former Blackburn Rovers player has abandoned his appeal against a conviction for making a homophobic gesture while playing against Brighton.

28-year-old Colin Kazim-Richards made the gesture while playing for Blackburn Rovers at Brighton and Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium on 12 February 2013.

Kazim-Richards, who currently plays for Turkish side Bursaspor, was convicted in February of simulating a sex act on a Brighton player, and making a masturbatory gesture to the team’s fans.

He had initially appealed against the conviction, and was set to appear at Hove Crown Court today – but the case was abandoned at the last minute, after his solicitor emailed to confirm he was not pursuing the appeal.

His defence team said the appeal was apparently abandoned in October – but the court could not find any record of the application.

Equality campaigners had previously criticized the relatively small fine – with Kazim-Richards fined £750, ordered to pay £620 court costs and a £75 victim surcharge.