Jonathan Leko reveals relief at Kiko Casilla’s racism ban but slams ‘lengthy’, ‘stressful’ hearing and lack of support – The Sun

JONATHAN LEKO has admitted he found it “difficult” watching Leeds United star Kiko Casilla continue to play before being banned for racially abusing him.

The shocking incident occurred while the West Brom striker was on-loan at Charlton on September 28, but it was not until February 28 the Football Association banned the goalkeeper.

Casilla was hit with an eight-game ban, £60,000 fine and ordered to attend face-to-face education for using the term “f***ing n*****’.

The FA released their written reasons for how the Independent Regulatory Commission reached their verdict – despite the Spaniard still denying using racist language.

Now Leko, 20, has opened up on his “anger” over the ordeal and his disgust at the lack of support he received from the PFA and 'leading anti-racism bodies'.

The England youth international said in a statement: “I am naturally relieved that the process is now complete and the FA have upheld what I have always known to be true – that I was racially abused by Kiko Casilla in a manner which shocked me and still angers and upsets me to this day.

It made me question whether I would be prepared to go through it all again were I on the receiving end of similar abuse in the future.

“I have been disappointed with the amount of time it has taken to reach this point. Knowing what occurred in the game that day, it has been difficult to watch Kiko Casilla continue to play for such a lengthy period as if nothing had happened.

“I would urge the game’s governing bodies to look into their own processes when such incidents are reported.

“It was 22 weeks between the incident and the hearing during which I had minimal contact from the PFA, of which I am a member, and no contact in the way of support from leading anti-racism bodies such as ‘Kick It Out’ and ‘Show Racism The Red Card’. Some support or guidance would have been very welcome.”

Leko continued: “By bringing the incident to the referee’s attention immediately, I was only doing what I have been educated to do throughout my career. But I found the hearing, at which I was made to feel I had done something wrong, extremely stressful.

“It made me question whether I would be prepared to go through it all again were I on the receiving end of similar abuse in the future.

“I certainly would think twice about how to advise another player placed in the same situation.

“From the outset, all I have done is report something that had to be challenged and exposed for what it is – racial abuse.

“I now want to put the episode behind me and concentrate on recovering from my injury to be ready for next season.”

Leko is currently ruled out for the rest of the season due to an ACL knee injury he suffered in December.

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