Tuesday Apr 17, 2018. 18:00
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has expressed his disappointment that the FA has thrown out a complaint of racism put forward by his Cameroonian defender Gaetan Bong.
In a January incident, Bong claims that West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez said “You’re black and you stink.” Rodriguez stronglydenied the accusation, insisting he had said: “Breath f*****g stinks.”
An FA hearing found Bong’s claim “could not be proven” as the case boiled down to one player’s word against another’s, though it did add that Bong’s complaint had been made in “absolute good faith”.
“We were disappointed with the outcome,” said Hughton. “But the process by the FA and communication from the FA was excellent, so certainly no problem with that. I think the wording from both statements, by the FA and the committee that dealt with it, says the right things.
“Everybody is going to write it how they want to write it. In what I have read there are particular wordings from both statements that it certainly wasn’t improper for him to make the accusation and from both parties it’s not a question of not believing what he said, it’s just a question of proving it.”
Bong released a statement reasserting his conviction over what was said, adding: “Mr Rodriguez has apologised and this is already positive.”
Hughton said: “You have only got to read Gaetan’s reply on Twitter. That shows the individual that he is. He’s a very strong individual, very disciplined individual. You can see that from his own reply and he will look to put this behind him and concentrate on what will be a very tough end of season.”