West Brom Striker Jay Rodriguez Charged by FA for Racially Abusing Gaetan Bong

The alleged incident happened in a match vs. Brighton on January 13.
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West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez has been charged by the FA following allegations of racial abuse.

Rodriguez is accused of having made racist comments regarding Brighton and Cameroon defender Gaetan Bong during a match at the Hawthorns on January 13.

A statement on the FA's website reads: "Jay Rodriguez has been charged following an incident during the West Bromwich Albion versus Brighton and Hove Albion match on 13 January 2018.

"It is alleged he used abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race. Rodriguez has until 16 February 2018 to respond to the charge."

Bong would relay the incident to referee Martin Atkinson during the match, claiming that the striker pinched his own nose and told him: “You are black and you stink.”

“He was upset because I blocked him and after that he said some words," Bong later said to SFR (H/T the Independent). "He said racist comments.

“I looked for the referee to tell him. First the referee told me to get back in position. I didn’t accept that so easily. I am a black man. We’re in 2018 and we cannot tolerate this. I hope there will be sanctions.

“He did that because of the color of my skin. I asked him to repeat what he said and I think he realized what he said and tried to limit the damage. And I replied to him, “No, what you said was racist..

“At the end of the game he tried to say, "No I didn’t say that.” But I said, 'You can’t say that. Not to a human being. And most of all not to a black man, at this period, with everything that is happening in the world.'"

Rodriguez, though, has denied this and is understood to be upset by the accusation.

The Baggies have also issued a statement on their official website, backing the player.

It reads: "Albion remain fully supportive of Jay Rodriguez after he was charged by the FA following an incident during the club's Premier League victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, January 13."