Leeds and Kiko Casilla granted FA extension over racism charge

Leeds United and goalkeeper Kiko Casilla have been granted an extension from the FA to respond to allegations of racism brought against the Spanish goalkeeper.

Casilla was expected to respond to the allegations on Tuesday, with the FA having announced the charge on November 4, but it’s now been announced that the Championship promotion hopefuls have until November 27 to respond.

Casilla strongly denies the charge and insists he did not use language of a racist nature towards Charlton player Jonathan Leko as the Addicks inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Leeds at The Valley on September 28.

An FA statement published last Monday said: “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.”

But having been granted the extention, Leeds will now be able to continue picking Casilla and the Spaniard will be available for forthcoming games away to Luton on November 23 and Reading on November 26.

Should he be found guilty, Casilla will reportedly face a ban between eight to 12 games. 

Casilla was signed by Leeds from Real Madrid in January and quickly established himself as boss Marcelo Bielsa’s first-choice goalkeeper.

He has made 33 appearances for Leeds and has started in all 16 of their Championship games this season.

Casilla progressed through Real’s youth system and later spent seven years at Espanyol before returning to the Bernabeu in 2015.

He was understudy to Keylor Navas in his first season back at Real and slipped further down the pecking order when the Spanish club signed Thibaut Courtois in 2018.