Sheffield Wednesday: Fernando Forestieri faces minimum five game ban if found guilty of FA racism charge
Sheffield Wednesday striker Fernando Forestieri faces a minimum five match ban if found guilty of a racism charge laid down by the Football Association.
Forestieri has been charged by the FA over an alleged racist incident – despite having been found not guilty in court earlier this year.
He faced criminal proceedings at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court in March after being accused of insulting Mansfield Town’s Krystian Pearce during a pre-season friendly last summer.
The 29-year-old was found not guilty of racially aggravated harassment and using threatening words or behaviour.
But the FA have confirmed the Argentina-born forward has been charged with a breach of the association’s Rule E3, allegeding words he used were abusive and/or insulting.
Futhermore, it is alleged the words constituted an ‘aggravated breach’, which is defined in Rule E3, as including reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.
Forestieri has until June 14 to respond to the charge.
FA regulations state the charge brings a punishment of a minimum five match ban if proven.
A 40-man brawl followed Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat at Mansfield last July with Forestieri accused of having sparked the incident with racial abuse of defender Pearce.
During court proceedings, the prosecution alleged that while he spoke mainly in Spanish, he used ‘derogatory racial terms.’
Forestieri denied the suggestions and said in court: “No, I never said that, I'm not like that. I was very sad because I'm not a racist. The first rule in football is to respect your colleagues.”
Last September, Forestieri received a three-match ban and a fine of £25,000 after admitting a FA charge of violent conduct in regards to the brawl.
The delay in the FA’s charge comes due to the halting of the association’s investigations during any criminal proceedings.
Forestieri is not the first footballer to face FA proceeding after being acquitted in a court of law.
John Terry was cleared in July 2012 Westminster Magistrates' Court of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a clash between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers.
But two months later Terry was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by the FA for having used ‘abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards…..Ferdinand and which included a reference to colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3 .’