Taylor defends Evans inclusion
Striker named in team of the season for 'footballing reasons'
Last Updated: April 23, 2012 4:54pm
Players' chief Gordon Taylor today defended the decision to include Ched Evans in the PFA League One team of the season.
The Sheffield United striker was jailed for five years on Friday for the rape of a 19-year-old girl, but he was still included in the PFA team as members had already cast their votes.
Speaking of Evans' inclusion in the team, Taylor insisted it was a "football decision not a moral decision" after the Wales striker hit 35 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions for the Blades
The chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said: "That was a football judgement by his fellow professionals, it was not a moral judgement and in no way does the PFA condone the offence for which he was convicted.
"If he had been removed from the team it would have created more of a storm and would have been manipulating the vote."
Gordon Taylor Quotes of the week
"If he had been removed from the team it would have created more of a storm and would have been manipulating the vote.
"Votes are cast on footballing ability, obviously everyone is quite disturbed about the conviction and whether that would have changed the vote we just don't know."
Evans was jailed at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel in north Wales last May.
Evans, who has indicated that he wants to appeal against the conviction, admitted having sex with the victim, then aged 19.
In her evidence, the woman said she has no memory of the incident and the prosecution argued she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
Evans' co-accused, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty of the same charge.