Rodriguez to contest charge of racially abusing Brighton defender Bong

Jay Rodriguez and Gaetan Bong

West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez will contest a charge of racially abusing Brighton defender Gaetan Bong.

Cameroon international Bong claimed the incident took place during the Baggies’ 2-0 win at The Hawthorns on 13 January.

Rodriguez appeared to pinch his nose after they clashed and Bong spoke to the referee.

Should the 28-year-old – who had until Friday to respond to the Football Association – be found guilty, he will serve a minimum five-match suspension.

The case will now be heard by a disciplinary panel at a date to be decided.

After he was charged, West Brom said they would “fully support” Rodriguez, while the player said he was in “disbelief at the situation”.

The former Burnley and Southampton striker – who has been capped once by England – has continued to protest his innocence and employed top lawyers to defend his case.

West Brom manager Alan Pardew said he does not expect the matter to be resolved soon.

He said: “[A hearing] is some way off I think. Obviously he’s contesting it.

“He’s been a great pro. He’s pretty level-headed and I haven’t seen too dramatic a change in his attitude to training, or anything if I’m honest.”

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