As no doubt you are aware, Jonjo Shelvey has been put on an FA charge for misconduct.
Below are the details as reported by The Mag yesterday (Tuesday) but the basics are that the Newcastle midfielder has been charged with making racist comment(s) during the 2-0 defeat to Wolves in September.
The initial reaction of Newcastle fans was of course shock/disappointment that this has come up at a time when everything appeared to be going swimmingly…then followed by bemusement that it had taken over seven weeks for the FA to bring the matter up.
However, the second part of that reaction/bemusement has been answered, with the Chronicle revealing that the alleged incident HAD been flagged up immediately in the aftermath of that Wolves match on Saturday 17 September.
There has clearly been behind the scenes action going on in terms of NUFC and Shelvey fighting the charge and the fact that it has now at last become public, with the FA formally putting the charge to Jonjo Shelvey, can only leave you fearing the worst.
I find it hard to see any outcome being reached other than guilty, as you have to think that for the FA to pursue it so long and behind the scenes resistance overcome, then surely they must feel there is a strong case to be made.
Exactly what was said is something only Jonjo Shelvey and potentially others within hearing distance on the pitch, will know for sure. In any instance such as this, when it isn’t match officials hearing it but one player’s word against the other, it is very difficult to know what to believe.
Back in the 2006/07 season, Newcastle midfielder Emre was accused by three Everton players of making racist comments, that case was held three months later and the FA cleared the Turkish international, though the Everton players made public immediately their accusations.
With this charge against Jonjo Shelvey being seen as more serious than a normal misconduct one, it appears likely that any potential punishment would be a ban of at least five matches.
Assuming any hearing/decision would happen by the end of next week (Friday 18 November) it would mean if found guilty, Jonjo Shelvey missing a minimum of Leeds away, Blackburn home, Hull away (League Cup), Forest away, Birmingham home – with the following (sixth) match being Wigan away on Wednesday 14 December.
Whatever did or didn’t happen, Jonjo Shelvey obviously hasn’t let the impending charge bother him, since that defeat to Wolves, he has featured in all 10 games since, Newcastle winning nine and drawing the one at Villa.
Interestingly, only three days after that Wolves defeat and the alleged incident, Newcastle faced Wolves again in the League Cup. Jonjo Shelvey one again played the full 90 minutes that night and I can’t remember any extra edge to that game in terms of the Wolves players and their attitude to the Newcastle midfielder, though the player apparently in question, Romain Saiss, wasn’t involved in the Cup game.
The Mag – Tuesday 9 November 2016
Going into the last few minutes Newcastle were two down, the game lost and frustrations boiling over, so much so that Vurnon Anita made a poor choice of challenge and was given a straight red card for a tackle on Portuguese winger Ivan Cavaleiro in the 87th minute – which is the time given for the incident.
The local media in the Midlands are reporting it as follows:
‘The Express & Star understands that a team mate of Romain Saiss’ reported the alleged racial term, with the Moroccan midfielder’s grasp of English being limited.
It was reported by Wolves to officials at the end of the match. And the FA have now charged Shelvey with misconduct.’
Official FA Statement:
‘Jonjo Shelvey has been charged for misconduct in relation to Newcastle United’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 17 September 2016.
It is alleged that in or around the 87th minute of the fixture, he used abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent.
It is further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) is an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.
The player has until 16 November 2016 to respond to the charge.’