Athletic journalist delivers update on day two of Casilla FA hearing
Kiko Casilla is in the middle of his FA hearing on a charge of racially abusing Charlton player Jonathan Leko and is being supported by seven players including former Leeds United teammate Kemar Roofe.
The hearing started on Wednesday and it is expected that the verdict will be delivered later today.
Leko is being backed up by Charlton striker Macauley Bonne.
Casilla has his backers too, as well as relying on evidence from lip readers, according to the Telegraph.
David Ornstein claimed earlier this week that Eddie Nketiah was going to support Casilla in the hearing.
Now, fellow Athletic journalist Phil Hay has said that seven players in total have all come forward to support the goalkeeper.
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Nketiah has given evidence in person already, while others have provided written statements about Casilla’s character.
One of these is former Leeds striker Kemar Roofe who played with Casilla in the second half of the 18/19 season.
Hay delivered the update on his personal Twitter page on Thursday morning.
seven in total. Nketiah gave evidence, plus there were written statements from Real Madrid and others (including Roofe I think) supporting Casilla’s character.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) February 20, 2020
Hay added that Casilla could appeal if he was found guilty later today.
Burden of proof
Casilla will be heartened by former teammates going out of their way to support him in his hearing but it might not actually make much difference.
The case will hinge on what Leko claims was said and the fact that Bonne is backing him up here will mean Casilla will likely get a ban.
Character references are good but don’t negate the possibility that something was said in the Charlton game and the burden of proof for the FA is not as high as in a court of law.
There are parallels with the Fernando Forestieri case, where the Sheffield Wednesday player was cleared by a court of law (as there was reasonable doubt about whether what he said was simply misheard) but found guilty by the FA.
It’s a very complex issue. Players have to be heard and allegations have to be taken seriously.
On the flip side, no one wants a player banned and his character stained if it was a simple mistake.
Either way, Casilla should find out his fate later on today and it’s a decision that could have big ramifications for the rest of the season.
In other Leeds United news, Is this acceptable? – Phil Hay saw Lee Johnson wearing one thing v Leeds that was ‘out of order’