London (AFP) – Newcastle United and England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey pleaded not guilty to a Football Association (FA) misconduct charge on Wednesday.
Shelvey, accused of using abusive language towards an opponent that included reference to ethnicity, race or nationality, has requested a personal hearing.
The misconduct charge handed down by the FA, English football’s governing body, relates to an incident which allegedly took place during Newcastle’s 2-0 home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the second-tier Championship on September 17.
“Newcastle United can confirm that Jonjo Shelvey has today pleaded not guilty to an FA charge of misconduct in relation to an alleged incident during Newcastle United’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, 17 September,” said a club statement.
“The player has requested a personal hearing with the FA regarding this matter. The club will be making no further comment until the matter has been concluded.”
If found guilty, the 24-year-old Shelvey faces a ban of at least five games.
In May 2013, the FA introduced new rules to ensure racist or other discriminatory abuse by players would carry a minimum five-match ban.
The rule chance came following high-profile cases of racist abuse which saw Chelsea’s John Terry and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez banned for four and eight games respectively for racist abuse on the pitch.
Newcastle, looking for an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation last season, top the Championship table by three points.