Jonjo Shelvey: Newcastle United midfielder handed five-game racial abuse ban

Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey could be unavailable until Newcastle’s game against Rotherham on 21 Janaury

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been banned for five games after he was found guilty of using racially abusive language by an independent panel.

He has also been fined £100,000 and ordered to attend a Football Association education course.

Shelvey, 24, sought a personal hearing to challenge the charge following an incident with Wolves midfielder Romain Saiss in a 2-0 defeat on 17 September.

The player has seven days to appeal.

Newcastle said in a statement they will wait to see the FA’s written reasons “before making any further comment on the matter”.

The FA’s sanctions will be set aside pending consideration for an appeal.

What happened?

Newcastle were losing to Wolves in their Championship match at St James’ Park, when in the 87th minute an incident occurred between Shelvey and Saiss.

The breach, according to the FA’s charge against the former Liverpool and Swansea player, related to Rule E3(1), and was an “Aggravated Breach as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality”.

BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy said the matter was brought to referee Tim Robinson’s attention by one of Saiss’ team-mates immediately after the game.

What will Shelvey miss?

If Boxing Day’s visit of Sheffield Wednesday becomes the first game of the suspension, the England international will miss four league games and the FA Cup third-round tie at Birmingham.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez would next be able to name him in the squad for the Championship game against Rotherham on 21 January.

Five games a ‘minimum’ punishment

FA guidelines, which were revised in 2013, state any player found guilty of racially abusing an opponent or discriminating on religion, sexuality or disability, should be banned for at least five games.

Prior to that, Chelsea’s John Terry was handed a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, while Liverpool’s Luis Suarez received an eight-match suspension and a £40,000 fine for his abuse of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra – both in 2011.

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