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Evra set for FA hearing as inquest begins into 'Battle of Stamford Bridge'

Manchester United defender Patrice Evra will appear before the FA on Thursday as the hearing into last season's 'Battle of Stamford Bridge' finally opens.

The Frenchman was charged with improper conduct after his part in a 20-man melee involving United players and Chelsea groundstaff following the London club's 2-1 win in April.

Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell was accused by at least one member of the United group - thought to be assistant manager Mike Phelan - of using racist language towards Evra, though the player has never claimed he heard that.

Bethell has not been charged because of a technicality, but Chelsea have been charged with failing to ensure the proper conduct of their employee, and failing to inform him in his contract that he was subject to the FA's rules and regulations.

The hearing is expected to last two days.

Meanwhile, United full back Danny Simpson, 21, who is on loan at Blackburn, has told manager Sir Alex Ferguson he will leave Old Trafford if he is not guaranteed regular games next season.

Simpson said: 'Some players are happy to be reserves and fringe players at Old Trafford for years but I don't want to do that.'
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