Jonjo Shelvey pleads not guilty to racial abuse charge

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Football News

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has pled not guilty to racial abuse charges that emerged from the club's September 17 fixture against Wolves.

Shelvey is accused of using racially abusive language towards Wolves' Moroccan defender Romain Saiss but the England international denies the charges. 

The 24-year-old has requested a personal hearing from the FA over the incident and a Newcastle United club statement said no further comment would be made "until the matter is concluded".

Newcastle currently sit atop the Championship table and Shelvey will be available for selection to Rafa Benitez for this weekend's game at Elland Road against Leeds United.

However, if the former Liverpool man is found guilty, he will be subject to a minimum ban of five games. 

FA guidelines, which were altered back in 2013, state that any player found guilty of racially abusing an opponent or discriminating on religion, sexuality or disability, should be banned for at least five games.

The major catalyst's for these changes were the high-profile incidents in 2011 involving Chelsea's John Terry and Luis Suarez.

The former received a four-match ban as well as a £220,000 fine for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, whilst then Liverpool striker Suarez received an eight-match suspension and a £40,000 fine for his abuse of Patrice Evra.

BBC Sport's Pat Murphy noted that the Shelvey incident was made aware to the referee Tim Robinson by a Wolves player immediately after the game. 

Murphy added:

"Saiss' grasp of English is limited having played in France recently, where he was born, and this could complicate the issue. He is now taking English lessons." 

The Moroccan International is in his first season in English football after signing from French club Angers for around £3 million in the summer transfer window. 

Shelvey is understood to have a witness who supports the midfielder in disputing Wolves’ version of events and claims he never said the exact phrases that are being alleged against him.

 The FA disciplinary hearing is expected to take place some time next week and will give the 24-year-old, who may have been mocked about his baldness by Wolves players, a chance to cite any mitigating factors, including provocation. 

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Alan Shearer
England Football
Luis Suarez
Premier League
Newcastle United
Jonjo Shelvey

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