West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez’s charge of discriminatory misconduct has been found not proven by the FA.
Alan Pardew, sacked as West Brom manager less than two weeks ago, defended Rodriguez in front of a three-man independent tribunal at Wembley against an allegation that the forward racially abused Brighton defender Gaetan Bong in a match at The Hawthorns on January 13.
The FA said there was no suggestion by any party involved in this case that this was a malicious or fabricated complaint and that it was “completely satisfied” the complaint was made in good faith.
A statement read: “The FA takes all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and continues to encourage all participants who believe that they have been the subject of or witness to discriminatory abuse to report this through the appropriate channels.”
West Brom’s director of football, Richard Garlick, said: “Everyone at the club is delighted for Jay because this has been a trying period for him.
“He has always maintained his innocence and we are naturally pleased the commission has dismissed the charge.”
The former Southampton striker strenuously denied the charge throughout the process, and insisted he was mockingly referencing Bong’s “bad breath”.
He hired lip readers to try to prove his claim.
Rodriguez would have faced a five-match ban if found guilty, which would have ruled him out for the rest of the season.
(c) Sky News 2018: Jay Rodriguez racism charge ‘not proven’ after Gaetan Bong incident