Back in September, Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was accused by Jonathan Leko, on loan at Charlton Athletic from West Brom, of racially abusing him.
Despite denying it, the Spaniard was banned for eight games and fined £60k by the FA after they found him guilty, meaning he will now have to sit out the vast majority of his side’s remaining games in the Championship as they push for promotion to the Premier League.
Leeds stuck by their player throughout the whole process, releasing a statement soon after the sentence stating: “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.”
Now having to watch his teammates resume the league without him, Casilla sat down with Radio Marca to discuss his situation, during which he once again denied the claims put forward by Leko and his teammate Macauley Bonne.
He said: “I was punished because of intuition and without any proof. It’s a complicated subject. If I speak more it can be used against me… They say I said a word I didn’t even know existed.
“If I had said a racist insult, I would have recognised it… I would say it was a word used in the heat of the moment in the game, but it wasn’t. I agree with the anti-racist movements in the US.”
Casilla’s last game for Leeds came in a 1-0 win against Middlesbrough back towards the end of February.
He was found guilty on February 28th and sat out his first two games during the wins over Hull City and Huddersfield.
With nine games left in the Championship, the earliest Casilla could return would be for the home game against Barnsley FC, currently scheduled to take place on July 15th, followed by an away game against Derby and a home game against Charlton.