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Gus Poyet returns as witness in Colin Kazim-Richards homophobic gestures trial
Ex-Albion manager Gus Poyet is set to return to Brighton and Hove.
The former coach will see some familiar faces – though not on the playing field.
He and several players have been called to give evidence at the trial of former Brighton player Colin Kazim-Richards.
The Turkish international is accused of making homophobic gestures towards his former supporters while playing for Blackburn Rovers on February 12.
Seagulls fans complained to police at the end of the 1-1 draw that the 26-year-old made the homophobic insults at least five times.
Mr Kazim-Richards, who now plays for Turkish club Bursaspor, has denied behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly way.
Ex-Albion man Wayne Bridge and Blackburn player DJ Campbell are set to give evidence in Kazim-Richards’ defence, as well as Gus Poyet, Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer and referee Andy Woolmer.
Three others on field at the time will also give evidence for the defence.
Four witnesses who claim to have seen the gestures will testify for the prosecution.
The date for a three-day trial has been set at Brighton Magistrates Court, starting on January 14, 2014.
At a court hearing yesterday Mr Kazim-Richards’ advocate suggested the timing of the trial would be inconvenient being in the middle of the football season.
But the district judge insisted since the case was a low-level public order offence it could not be adjourned until the end of the season.
Mr Kazim-Richards, an official campaigner for the anti-racism initiative Kick It Out, played for Albion for one season at the age of 18 in 2005 to 2006.
His contract was signed after an Albion fan won £250,000 for the club in a competition run by Coca- Cola – leading to Mr Kazim- Richards being dubbed the “Coca- Cola Kid”.
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