Leeds goalkeeper Casilla banned for eight games following racism charge

Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has been banned for eight games for using racist language, it has been confirmed.

The incident took place in Leeds’ game against Charlton Athletic back in September, with Casilla alleged to have directed a racial slur at Jonathan Leko in the aftermath of the match.

The goalkeeper had been granted more time to answer the allegations, but the FA have now confirmed that Casilla has been suspended for eight matches.

Casilla has also received a fine of £60,000, as well as being ordered to attend face-to-face education.

Illan Meslier, who joined Leeds on loan in the summer but is yet to make a Championship appearance, is expected to become Marcelo Bielsa’s first choice during Casilla’s ban.

Only three games will remain in the season for Leeds when Casilla’s ban expires, meaning Meslier will have to be trusted for the key run in in the search for promotion.

Casilla will miss games against the likes of Fulham, Blackburn and Swansea.

A Leeds statement read: “Leeds United acknowledges that Kiko Casilla has been found guilty of breaching FA Rule E3 during our Sky Bet Championship game with Charlton Athletic in September 2019.

“We would like to make it clear that we do not tolerate any form of discrimination within our football club and we are a leader in the fight against discrimination within our wider community.

“However, it is important to recognise that Kiko has always denied making any racist comment.

“The FA panel have based their decision on the balance of probability rather than proving Kiko to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt, which we have always believed is the more appropriate burden of proof.”