MOT View: Reported FA ban for Casilla would come at just the wrong time for Leeds
Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla could be set for a very lengthy ban according to the Daily Mail, who claim that the FA is set to hand down a ban of between eight to 12 games on Wednesday.
We need to preface this comment piece by saying that if Casilla is found guilty of racist abuse (against Charlton’s Jonathan Leko) then he deserves everything that he has coming to him. Cultural differences are no excuse any more – Casilla has played in England for almost a year and racism in the game is a huge issue everywhere.
However, a lengthy ban this year would really leave Leeds in the lurch and a ban that kicks in on Wednesday would end up hurting the club and the city massively.
Leeds have no replacement with any level of experience, with Illan Meslier likely to get the nod. He’s only played in the French second division before.
An eight-game ban would see Casilla out until just before Christmas, a 12-game ban would take him through to mid-January.
If the ban kicked in next year then we would expect Leeds to make a loan move in the January transfer window.
One hope for the club is that the story hasn’t been verified by ultra-dependable Leeds sources. In fact, the message coming from the BBC’s Adam Pope after the Mail story is very different.
Pope said the FA couldn’t provide any details to what is an ongoing story.
The FA say they can’t provide any details at this stage on the Casilla case as the matter is ongoing but will be in touch with any official updates. As yet no charges.
Overnight reports by a national paper suggest he is due a lengthy ban. #lufc
— Adam Pope (@apopey) November 2, 2019
It’s entirely possible that the Mail has a unique and accurate source within the FA but we would be surprised if the ban was handed down as early as Wednesday. These cases normally take a long time to progress.
Even if it was, it’s very possible that Leeds would appeal the length of the ban that could see the case move into the new year when, crucially, the transfer window will be open.
That gives Leeds two months to find their target and sign him on January 1.
Either way, though, it would be a huge blow to Leeds but also to Casilla, in terms of his football and his reputation, and it would be an unwelcome stain on a Leeds side that has done so much to further exciting and fair play on the football pitch under Marcelo Bielsa.
In other Leeds news, 23y/o proving he is Premier League quality week-in, week-out