London (AFP) – West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez was Thursday charged by the Football Association over an incident involving Brighton’s Gaetan Bong during which he was accused of using racist language.
Footage from the Premier League match on January 13 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 February 16 to respond to the FA charge. He could face a lengthy ban if found guilty.
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 manager Alan Pardew said after the match he found it “very difficult” to believe that Rodriguez would make a racist comment, adding: “Jay Rodriguez claims that the allegation, whatever the allegation is, is untrue.”
West Brom said on Thursday 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.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Where to find Southampton vs. Liverpool on US TV
- Where to find Nottingham Forest vs. Sheffield United on US TV
- Legacy on the line for Rangers in Europa League final
- Rangers and Frankfurt roll back the years for retro Europa League final
- Klopp confident Salah, Van Dijk fit for Champions League final
- Newcastle blow up Arsenal’s Champions League dream
- Clint Dempsey joins FOX Sports for World Cup 2022 coverage
- Newcastle blow up Arsenal’s Champions League dreams
- Chiellini says goodbye to Juve fans as last-gasp Lazio make Europa League
- Blackpool’s Daniels ends 32-year wait for gay UK male footballer to come out