Casilla denies making racist remarks
Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has denied making any racist remarks after an FA investigation was opened after allegations following Saturday’s game against Charlton.
Casilla has been accused of using racist language towards West Brom player Jonathan Leko, currently on loan at Charlton.
The Sun broke the news on Tuesday, reporting that referee John Brooks had included the incident in his post-match report.
Kiko Casilla played for Leeds on Tuesday night in a 1-0 win over then league-leaders West Brom.
Athletic journalist Phil Hay has now said that, “Sources have told The Athletic that Casilla denies making racist remarks and that he and Leko spoke and shook hands after full-time at The Valley.”
However, Hay’s story also claims that another Charlton player is said to have heard the comment made by Casilla and is willing to testify as such to the FA.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has said, “We reject all actions of discrimination and racism, but I can’t give an opinion because this is under investigation.”
Sheffield Wednesday striker Fernando Forestieri was banned for six games this summer after being found guilty of racially abusing Mansfield Town’s Krystian Pearce in a pre-season friendly last year.
It means that Casilla’s case is unlikely to be resolved quickly, and the case could be left hanging over his head.
The minimum ban for racial abuse by a player is now six games.
In the Forestieri case the judge made his decision purely based on Pearce’s allegation and Forestieri’s denial – according to the BBC no other evidence was submitted.
Forestieri still vehemently denies the charge and said he was “devastated and disappointed with the decision”.
It would be wrong to put forward conjecture with an investigation pending but if Leko has corroborating evidence from a teammate, it would seem that the case against Casilla is stronger.
Leeds’ alternatives in goal are Illan Meslier, Kamil Miazek and Will Huffer. Huffer is the only one with any first-team experience (just the one appearance) but Miazek has made the bench for the past two games.