West Brom's Jay Rodriguez releases statement after being cleared of racial abuse

The English striker faced a five-match suspension if he was found guilty by the FA

The English striker faced a five-match suspension if he was found guilty by the FA

In a statement this afternoon, the FA said: "A charge of discriminatory misconduct against West Bromwich Albion's Jay Rodriguez has been found not proven following an independent regulatory commission hearing".

The 28-year-old, capped once by England in 2013, strenuously denied what he felt was a "false allegation" and requested a personal hearing after being charged by the Football Association (FA) in February.

The £12m former Southampton and Burnley striker is now clear to see out the season after escaping a possible five-match ban if found guilty.

Bong said in a statement posted on Twitter he was "disappointed" with the verdict, but Rodriguez is glad to have cleared his name.

'It has been hard to remain silent throughout the FA process but I do wish to express firstly my relief that I have been exonerated and secondly my support for the fight against racism in whatever form it is expressed. The FA is completely satisfied that this was a complaint made in absolute good faith.

Alan Pardew, the Baggies" manager at the time, backed Rodriguez, while the club's director of football Richard Garlick echoed his sentiments, saying that West Brom were "fully committed to backing Jay throughout this process'.

'I have maintained my innocence from the moment Gaetan Bong made the allegation.

"I did not use any language that alluded to race and I can only repeat my view that Gaetan misheard our exchange during the game".

He may have become something of a Manchester City hero today for his goal that beat Manchester United and confirmed the destination of the Premier League trophy, but for West Bromwich Albion's Jay Rodriguez, today meant more to him than any City player or fan.

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