'Get their stories straight' – Luther Blissett delivers surprise verdict on Casilla FA case
It’s been another dramatic week for Leeds United. After Kiko Casilla was banned for eight games for racism, the FA released their written reasons behind the case.
They concluded that Casilla wasn’t a racist but had ‘on the balance of probability’ said a racist thing towards Charlton player Jonathan Leko.
Leeds haven’t said anything officially since these written reasons were released but did tell talkSPORT host Jim White that Casilla was a “highly popular and very well regarded player at the club”.
White also spoke to former Watford and England player Luther Blissett, who has been a Kick It Out ambassador (talkSPORT, Wednesday, 10am).
With most pundits taking the FA line, he delivered a surprise verdict on the case, saying that he found it very hard to accept a guilty verdict while there was still doubt.
He also said that cases should be heard the very next day to avoid players getting together to “get their stories straight”.
“It’s very difficult,” Blissett said. “If there’s no way it can be proven it is very difficult to convict someone. I don’t think, hand on heart, you can convict someone for something you can’t prove.
“It seems when something is not a stone banker, unless it’s absolutely clear, it’s hard to get to that point.”
Blissett went on to say that when incidents like this happen, the FA should convene the next day, which would mean players wouldn’t have a chance to discuss what happened and “get their stories straight”.
The pragmatic approach taken by Blissett came as a surprise to us.
He’s one of the only people not connected with Leeds to come out and question the FA approach after the written reasons were released.
One thing we certainly agree with is that cases should be heard as soon as possible. The next day would be ideal although we’re not sure it’s that practical.
Racism has to be stamped out so if the FA shouldn’t go on the balance of probability, the only way around it is to ensure the pitch is fully mic-ed up and even then we imagine it wouldn’t be a foolproof system.
Perhaps there is no perfect solution.
In other Leeds United news, ‘They care about Leeds v West Brom’ – Simon Jordan makes EFL claim as Leeds home in on promotion