FA explains Bellusci defence


Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Leeds defender Giuseppe Bellusci was cleared of racially abusing Norwich’s Cameron Jerome because he was actually threatening to give the striker “a black eye”, the Football Association has revealed.

The Italian was charged following an incident during the 1-1 draw between the teams in October , where he was alleged to have directed a racial insult at Jerome.

But an independent regulatory commission dropped the case at a personal hearing earlier this month after Bellusci denied the charge.

On Wednesday morning the FA published a document outlining the reasons why the three-man commission rejected the allegations and revealed the “consistent evidence” put forward by Bellusci led to him being cleared.

The 25-year-old was accused of calling Jerome a ‘negro’ but the panel accepted his explanation that he said the word ‘nero’, the Italian term for black, while threatening Jerome with a black eye.

The document read: “On the balance of probabilities, we find that Mr Bellusci used the word ‘nero’ once, in the context that he claims, and that Mr Jerome misheard or misinterpreted what was said as ‘negro’.

“Once that misapprehension was planted in his mind, Mr Jerome’s reaction to it was entirely understandable. It inevitably set off an inquiry that was properly pursued and which culminated in this hearing.”

It continued: “In arriving at our decision, the commission reiterates that we found Mr Jerome to be a truthful witness who honestly believed that he had been racially abused. He may well continue to do so.

“The commission further acknowledges the willingness of Mr Jerome to make fair and appropriate concessions, both in interview and in his oral evidence.

“We were satisfied that at all times he sought to assist the commission, but that he was mistaken in his hearing and understanding of what Mr Bellusci said to him.”

Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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