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Sheffield United withdraw offer to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans to train with them


League One side Sheffield United have withdrawn their offer to Ched Evans to train with them following heavy criticism from fans and the media.

Evans was convicted of rape in 2011, whilst playing for Sheffield United, and served two and a half years of a five year sentence before being released earlier this year.

Since his release he has maintained his innocence and indicated he wants to continue playing professional football. With his contract at the Blades having expired, a petition to stop them re-signing the striker received over 150,000 signatures.

Whilst the club neither confirmed nor denied they would be re-signing him at any stage, they did announce that after discussions with the PFA, Evans would be allowed to train with his former team to regain match fitness.

The decision was met with heavy criticism, with Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill announcing she would ask her name to be taken off one of the Bramall Lane stands should he play for the club again.

In a statement on the club's official website, it said: "Sheffield United have decided to retract the opportunity for its former player, Ched Evans, to use the club's facilities for training purposes," 

"We recognise that a number of our supporters will be disappointed with this decision, but would ask that they remember the respon­sibi­lities we have not only to a fine and proud club, but also to the communities in which Sheffield United is active."

"The club condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms."

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