Jay Rodriguez says racism 'slur' by Gaëtan Bong hurt

Paola Ditto
Aprile 17, 2018

The 28-year-old, capped once by England in 2013, strenuously denied what he felt was a "false allegation" and requested a personal hearing after being charged by the Football Association (FA) in February.

West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez has escaped FA punishment as his charge of racially abusing Gaetan Bong has been found "not proven".

The FA announced on Friday that the Independent Regulatory Commission "determined that on the balance of probabilities the allegation was not proven" against Rodriguez.

Rodriguez pinched his nose and waved his hand in front of it after a clash with Bong, and the latter subsequently told the referee what he heard the striker say.

"It has been a hard and strained period for me and my family because this allegation brought a serious and damaging slur on my character", Rodriguez said in a statement released via social media.

The statement added that the FA was satisfied that the complaint made by Cameroon global Bong was not malicious or fabricated.

Baggies' director of football administration Richard Garlick, who attended the hearing, said: "Everyone at the club is delighted for Jay because this has been a trying period for him".

'I have maintained my innocence from the moment Gaetan Bong made the allegation.

I am grateful for all the colleagues and former managers and coaches who spoke up for me at the hearing.

"There is no place for it in any walk of life and I am relieved and pleased that after an exhaustive, thorough and fair process, I am cleared of this stain on my character and reputation".

The FA said it was "completely satisfied" Bong's complaint was "made in absolute good faith".

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