Forestieri to appeal against six-match FA ban

Fernando Forestieri is to appeal against today’s Football Association decision to ban him for six games and fine the player £25,000, after they found him guilty of a racism charge.

Forestieri had been charged by the FA with using racist language in the pre-season friendly at Mansfield last year,

He was cleared in court in March of racially abusing Mansfield defender Krystian Pearce but now comes the decision from the football authorities.

Forestieri, who has already served a three-match ban and paid a fine of £25,000 for misconduct relating to the incident, has said he will appeal this latest punishment.

In a statement on the club website, Forestieri said:

‘I am devastated and disappointed with the decision of the Regulatory Commission that has been published earlier today by the FA.

I have now been the subject of allegations of racism for over a year and it has been an extremely stressful time for both me personally and also my family in both England and Argentina.

Throughout that period of time, throughout both the criminal proceedings and the FA’s disciplinary proceedings, I have consistently and strenuously denied the allegations that have been made against me.

Whilst I was shocked and saddened to face criminal charges regarding this matter, I was equally happy to be found not guilty of those charges in March 2019 by the Criminal Court and considered that to be the end of a very distressing time. As I said at the time, I felt vindicated by the decision of the judge.

To discover I would then have to face an FA charge was devastating. But I truly believed that these erroneous allegations would be dismissed and my good name upheld.

I am therefore extremely disappointed, shocked and saddened that the Regulatory Commission found The FA’s charge proven, despite having been acquitted before the Criminal Court and in respect of an act that I would find abhorrent if I witnessed it in any walk of life.

I am not and never will be a person or a footballer who says offensive things by reference to race to my colleagues or other players, either on or off the pitch. My mother taught me how to respect others and how important that is.

The decision today therefore goes against everything about the person I am and the person I was brought up to be. It is absolutely no comfort to me that, when charging me with misconduct, the FA were very clear that they did not consider me to be racist but instead believed that I had acted in the ‘heat of the moment’.

To be prevented from playing the game of football, which I love, for six matches is a major matter in my life, but it is insignificant compared to the wider implications of the decision and the unjustified stain that it places on my character.

Consequently, having reflected upon the Written Reasons of the Regulatory Commission with my legal representatives, I have decided to exercise my right of appeal.

I will not make any further comment pending the conclusion of those appeal proceedings.’

The club issued a short statement, saying:

‘Sheffield Wednesday notes the decision of the independent Regulatory Commission published today by the FA regarding Fernando Forestieri.

Whilst we fully respect the findings of the Regulatory Commission, we also recognise that Fernando has exercised his right to appeal its decision.

It is therefore inappropriate for the Club make any further comment at this time.’
The earlier FA statement read:
‘Fernando Forestieri has been given a six-match suspension and fined £25,000 after a breach of FA Rule E3(2) was found proven by a Regulatory Commission.
It was alleged that words used by the Sheffield Wednesday player during a friendly fixture against Mansfield Town FC on 24 July 2018 breached Rule E3(1) as they were abusive and/or insulting.

It was further alleged that the words constituted an ‘Aggravated Breach’, which is defined in Rule E3(2), as they included reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.

“The striker has also been warned as to his future conduct and must attend face-to-face education but the sanction is currently set aside pending appeal.’

Forestieri is also clear to continue playing until his appeal is heard.

Leave a Reply