Key Leeds star to fight racism claim following FA charge

Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has been charged with using abusive language of a racist nature towards a Charlton player.

The Spaniard, 33, is alleged to have made discriminatory comments towards Jonathan Leko during a Championship match on September 28.

The Football Association said Casilla has until November 12 to provide a response.

An FA statement published on Monday afternoon read: “Kiko Casilla has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3.

“It is alleged that, contrary to Rule E3(1), the Leeds United goalkeeper used abusive and/or insulting words towards a Charlton Athletic player during an EFL Championship fixture on 28 September 2019.

“It is further alleged that the words constitute an “Aggravated Breach”, which is defined in Rule E3(2), as they made reference to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin.”

FA rules state that from the start of this season, anyone found guilty of an aggravated breach faces a mandatory minimum suspension of six matches, which may be increased based on any additional aggravating factors.

Leeds released a statement following the Casilla charge, saying the Spaniard “strenuously denies” the charge.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.”