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West Brom striker charged by FA over racist abuse

Jay Rodriguez could face a lengthy ban if found guilty in an incident involving Brighton’s Gaetan Bong.

Jay Rodriguez (file pic).
Jay Rodriguez (file pic).

WEST BROM FORWARD Jay Rodriguez was on Thursday charged by the Football Association with racially abusing Brighton’s Gaetan Bong and could face a lengthy ban if found guilty.

Footage from the Premier League match on 13 January shows the pair arguing and bumping into each other, before Rodriguez holds his nose and waves his hand as if to gesture Bong smells.

It is not clear what was said but Bong immediately complained to match official Martin Atkinson and the referee included the complaint in his report.

The FA said Rodriguez, who strongly denies any wrongdoing, has been charged with using “abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race”.

Rodriguez, 28, who won one England cap in 2013, has until 16 February to respond to the FA charge.

Cameroon defender Bong posted a since-deleted comment on his official Twitter feed after the game, saying: “Some words should not be said on a football field and specially not by players. Rodriguez words are unforgivable for the man I am!!”

Bong appeared on French television channel SFR Sport to say Rodriguez’s comment was “racist in nature”, and Brighton said their player had the club’s full backing as the FA opened its investigation.

West Brom said they remained fully supportive of Rodriguez following the FA charge.

“As a club we remain fully supportive and committed to backing Jay throughout this process,” Richard Garlick, the club’s director of football administration, said in a statement on the club’s website.

Then Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned in 2011 for eight matches and fined by the FA after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

– © AFP 2018

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