Jonjo Shelvey: Newcastle United midfielder pleads not guilty to racial abuse charge

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey has captained Newcastle United in the absence of Jamaal Lascelles this season

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has pleaded not guilty to a Football Association charge of allegedly using racially abusive language to Wolves' Romain Saiss.

The England international, 24, was charged following an incident during the Magpies' 2-0 Championship defeat on Saturday, 17 September.

He has requested a personal FA hearing.

A club statement said no further comment will be made "until the matter is concluded".

Magpies boss Rafael Benitez will be able to select Shelvey for Sunday's trip to Leeds United, with Newcastle currently three points clear of Brighton at the top of the Championship.

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.

Murphy added: "Saiss' grasp of English is limited having played in France recently, where he was born, and this could complicate the issue. He is now taking English lessons."

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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