Brighton defend Gaetan Bong after Jay Rodriguez charge found to be not proven by FA

Brighton have defended Gaetan Bong after a charge he was racially abused by West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez was found to be not proven by the Football Association.

Rodriguez was accused of making an alleged remark to Cameroon international Bong during the Baggies' 2-0 Premier League victory over the Seagulls on January 13.

Gaetan Bong

The FA announced last Friday that an Independent Regulatory Commission "determined that on the balance of probabilities the allegation was not proven" against Rodriguez, who criticised Bong for choosing "to publicly condemn" him.

On Wednesday evening Brighton issued a statement on behalf of Bong that supported their player's version of events.

The statement read: "Mr Rodriguez's actions during our game against West Bromwich Albion, followed by statements issued by him and on his behalf by his various PR and legal advisors, have resulted in my character being questioned and subsequently for a number of accusations to be directed at me.

"Please let me be clear: I know what I heard and I did not mishear. My conscience in raising the complaint is therefore entirely clear.

Jay Rodriguez

"This was my first such experience in more than three years in this country and I would never seek to bring a false charge against a fellow professional.

"Those who have accused me of doing that do not know me. Equally those who have expressed an opinion were not there on the pitch at the time and only Mr Rodriguez and I know exactly what was said and I stand by my original complaint.

"I now wish to continue with my career, and won't be commenting further on this matter even if Mr Rodriguez chooses to issue any further statements."

- PA


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