London (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jay Rodriguez has slammed Gaetan Bong for choosing “to publicly condemn” him after the West Bromwich Albion star was found not guilty of racially abusing the Brighton defender.
Rodriguez was accused of making an offensive remark to Cameroon international Bong during West Brom’s 2-0 victory over the Seagulls on January 13.
The FA announced on Friday that an Independent Regulatory Commission “determined that on the balance of probabilities the allegation was not proven” against Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who scored struggling Albion’s winner at Manchester United on Sunday, has now expressed his disappointment at Bong in an emotional statement on his official Twitter account.
“It has been a difficult and strained period for me and my family because this allegation brought a serious and damaging slur on my character,” he wrote.
“It has been equally difficult to remain silent throughout the FA process, but I do wish to express firstly my relief that I have been exonerated and second my support for the fight against racism in whatever form it is expressed.
“I have maintained my innocence from the moment Gaetan Bong made the allegation. I bear him no ill will, but I was disappointed that he chose to publicly condemn me on the platforms of open media before the evidence had been presented to an independent tribunal.
“Now that I have been cleared, I would like to emphasise so there can be no doubt that I did not utter the words of which I was accused. I did not use any language that alluded to race and I can only repeat my view that Gaetan misheard our exchange during the game.
“I am grateful for all the colleagues and former managers and coaches who spoke up for me at the hearing.”
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