Wolves witnesses key to commission imposing Jonjo Shelvey ban

By dsguser
23 December 2016

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was accused of referring to Wolves counterpart Romain Saiss as an "Arab c***", the Football Association has revealed.

The 24-year-old England international was this week banned for five games, fined £100,000 and ordered to attend a mandatory education course after an FA misconduct charge, which Shelvey denied, was found proven by an independent regulatory commission.

On Friday, the written reasons for the commission's decision were released detailing the evidence presented by both sides at the hearing in Birmingham, with the contributions of Saiss' team-mates Dominic Iorfa, Matt Doherty and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson key.

The document states: "The Commission has considered whether the three witnesses could have each misheard the use of the word 'Arab' by Mr Shelvey and we conclude that this suggestion is unrealistic."

The case centred around the incident which led to Vurnon Anita's dismissal in the 87th minute of the Magpies' 2-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat to Wolves on September 17.

Saiss, who was born in France of Moroccan extraction, was seen to brandish an imaginary card as referee Tim Robinson assessed the situation, much to the annoyance of Shelvey.

Wolves defender Iorfa told the hearing Shelvey called Saiss "you Arab c***" and "you Arab pr***", while Doherty heard him say "Moroccan pr***" and "Arab c***" and Borthwick-Jackson "smelly Arab c***".

The exchange was not heard by Saiss, who had a limited understanding of English at the time, or the referee, but was reported to the official after the final whistle.

Robinson relayed the details to Magpies boss Rafael Benitez, who after speaking to his player, reported back that he disputed the claims and said he had used the phrase "smelly-breathed pr***" in response to Saiss calling him a "bald c***".

Shelvey, who has suffered from alopecia since childhood, said he had lost his temper because of that, not Saiss' actions in calling for a red card, which he claimed he did not see.

He also admitted calling Iorfa "peasant", a reference to his higher salary.

Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic were called as witnesses for their Newcastle team-mate, but the commission found the FA's case more persuasive.

Both Shelvey and the FA, who could have challenged the punishment if it felt it was insufficient, opted not to appeal against the decision and the player's ban will take immediate effect.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Match Reports


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