Jay Rodriguez cleared of alleged racial abuse after Mauricio Pochettino and Eddie Howe give character references
Jay Rodriguez has been cleared of allegedly racially abusing Gaetan Bong.
The West Brom player was charged in February with using allegedly racist language towards the Cameroon international in a game against Brighton.
However, after Rodriguez attended a personal hearing at Wembley on Wednesday, the charge was found to be 'not proven' by the FA. The governing body also added that they were satisfied Bong's complaint was made with 'good faith', making clear 'there has been no suggestion that this was a malicious or fabricated complaint'.
A report from The Telegraph says that Rodriguez was given character references by Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe to assist his defence. Pochettino and Howe had worked with Rodriguez in their previous managerial roles at Southampton and Bunley respectively.
Now cleared, Rodriguez is cleared to play the remainder of the season. He had been facing a potential five-game ban if found guilty.
Following the alleged incident, he had taken to Twitter to express his disbelief at Bong's accusation.
'Absolutely gutted and in disbelief at the situation I find myself in,' the tweet read. 'I 100% deny the false allegation and will take the correct legal advice to prove my innocence.'