Leeds goalkeeper Casilla denies FA racial abuse charge

Kiko Casilla Leeds United 2018-19
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The Spaniard faces a six-game ban if found guilty of an alleged “aggravated breach” of FA rules

Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has denied a Football Association charge after it was alleged he racially abused Charlton forward Jonathan Leko.

The FA launched an investigation after the alleged incident was included in referee John Brooks’ report following a Championship clash between the sides at The Valley on September 28.

Following that investigation, the Spaniard has been charged with using 'abusive and/or insulting words' towards Addicks striker Leko.

It has also been alleged that the words used constitute an “aggravated breach” as they made reference to the player’s 'race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin'.

The 33-year-old has until November 12 to respond to the charges.

Casillas faces a minimum six-game suspension if found guilty under rules introduced at the start of the season.

Charlton won the game 1-0 courtesy of a first half goal from Macauley Bonne.

Leeds released a statement shortly after the FA’s announcement saying that Casilla 'strenuously denies' the allegations.

The statement read: “Leeds United Football Club acknowledges the charge from the FA today relating to Kiko Casilla and an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 during our Sky Bet Championship match with Charlton Athletic at The Valley in September.

“Kiko strenuously denies the allegation and has proactively worked with the FA during their investigation to date.

“The next step of this process will be a personal hearing, in the meantime Kiko will remain available for selection.”

Casilla has made 36 appearances for Leeds in all competitions since joining from Real Madrid in January.

He has been an ever-present for the Whites so far this season, with the Yorkshire club currently second in the Championship, only behind leaders Preston on goal difference.

Casilla began his career at Real Madrid but failed to make a senior appearance before joining Espanyol on a free transfer in 2007.

He made more than 100 league appearances for Espanyol and also had loan spells at Cadiz and Cartagena before returning to Real Madrid in the summer of 2015.

The goalkeeper made 43 appearances over four seasons in all competitions for Los Blancos before signing a four-and-a-half year contract with Leeds during the winter transfer window.

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