Thursday January 1st, 2015

The English Football Association announced Wednesday that Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has been banned from all soccer-related activities for six weeks due to his recent racist and anti-Semitic comments.

Accepting the FA's charge of racially-aggravated misconduct, Whelan was also fined £50,000 ($78,000), warned about his future conduct and ordered to undertake an education course.

"It is clear that he himself is very upset by the words he used and he moved very quickly to apologize publicly, plead guilty and begin to make amends," the FA commission report said in an excerpt released by Wigan, according to the Associated Press.

The sanction is subject to Whelan's appeal, and he has seven days to decide whether to do so.

Whelan made his offensive remarks in an interview with The Guardian in November.

He had recently hired Malkay Mackay as manager and was defending Mackay's own controversial comments. Mackay had sent racist, sexist and homophobic text messages to Cardiff City head of recruitment Iain Moody while Mackay was in charge of Cardiff, which eventually resulted in the loss of Mackay's job.

In discussing his hiring of Mackay, Whelan defended Mackay's use of the word "chink" in reference to Chinese people and elaborated on Mackay's anti-Semitic remarks, making disparaging comments about Jewish people and their "love for money."

Mackay remains Wigan's manager.

Wigan has 20 points through 24 English Championship games and is in 23rd place, currently in the relegation zone.

Ben Estes

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