Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla given extra time to make defence in racism case

Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was charged over the use of abusive words towards a Charlton player during a match on September 28 (Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire)
Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was charged over the use of abusive words towards a Charlton player during a match on September 28 (Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire)
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Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has been given until the end of November to respond to a Football Association charge over allegations of racism.

The game’s authorities, who charged him on November 4, originally demanded a response from the Spaniard by yesterday.

Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

But in order to give Leeds United ample time to process all the evidence in the case, it is understood an extension has been granted until November 27.

Casilla strenuously denies that he used abusive language of a racist nature towards Charlton Athletic player Jonathan Leko during the Championship game 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 September 28, 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.”

It is important to assert that Kiko vehemently denies the allegation and has fully cooperated with the investigation.

Angus Kinnear

Leeds United’s managing director Angus Kinnear says that while the club remain committed to playing their part in stamping out racism in the game, the player’s version of events and his previous record must be taken into account. And Leeds take issue with the FA’s standard of proof in cases of such a serious nature.

Unlike a court case, a hearing at the FA will not demand that an allegation is proved beyond reasonable doubt.

In his programme notes ahead of Saturday’s game, Kinnear said: “The club’s unequivocal stance is that racism will not be tolerated in any form and this standard is applied across staff, coaches, players and supporters.

“However it is important to assert that Kiko vehemently denies the allegation and has fully cooperated with the investigation.

“As well as Kiko’s word, he can evidence a long distinguished and unblemished career playing alongside team-mates, and against opponents, with an eclectic mix of ethnicities and nationalities.

“As a club we fully support such a serious allegation being subject to full investigation and a disciplinary process. Our only concern is that the standard of proof for an FA hearing is not ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ but ‘on the balance of probability.’

“We believe that in cases of this seriousness the higher standard of proof is more appropriate.

“This is not because we fear a sporting sanction, but because a man’s reputation is at stake.”