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Casilla suspension sends 'strong message' - FA

01:37 GMT+3 05/03/2020
Kiko Casilla Leeds United
The punishment handed to the Spanish goalkeeper will act as a preventative for similar situations, according to a member of the governing body

The eight-match suspension handed to Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla for using racist language shows that kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, Football Association official Paul Elliott says.

Casilla was handed the ban and a £60,000 for the offence last week after being found guilty of using a racial slur against West Bromwich attacker Jonathan Leko in September 2019.

Elliott believes the governing body's punishment is a strong deterrence for any more offensive behaviour and that zero tolerance will be allowed on the issue.

"I'm not [privy] to the details of the case but if you look at the sanction, any sanction sends a strong message," Eliott said to Sky Sports.

"Here at the FA what is important is that we have a message of zero tolerance generically across everything.

"Zero tolerance is important and consistent application of that is important. But education and rehabilitation is also important because people can say the wrong things, everyone can be guilty of saying wrong things.

"The message is clear across the game but what we are also saying is that there is an opportunity to reintegrate and rehabilitate yourself back into football.

"The sanction sends a strong message but also the training, education and rehabilitation to create a pathway back into football."

However, 20-year-old Leko revealed that he may not report a case of racism next time, with the process to find Casilla guilty taking almost six months.

"I have been disappointed with the amount of time it has taken to reach this point. Knowing what occurred in the game that day, it has been difficult to watch Kiko Casilla continue to play for such a lengthy period as if nothing had happened.

"I would urge the game's governing bodies to look into their own processes when such incidents are reported. It was 22 weeks between the incident and the hearing during which I had minimal contact from the PFA, of which I am a member, and no contact in the way of support from leading anti-racism bodies such as 'Kick It Out' and 'Show Racism The Red Card'. Some support or guidance would have been very welcome."

Leeds currently find themselves in second in the Championship, behind West Brom but five points clear of Fulham as they stay on course to seal automatic promotion to the Premier League. 

Just 10 games remain before the end of the season in England's second tier, with the side coached by Marcelo Bielsa back in action on Saturday at home against Huddersfield.