Brighton's Gaetan Bong Hits Out at Critics After Jay Rodriguez Is Cleared of Racial Abuse

​Brighton defender Gaetan Bong has stood by his claim that West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez racially abused him in ​the Premier League clash between the two sides in January; despite Rodriguez has been cleared of discriminatory conduct by the FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission.

According to ​a statement issued on his behalf by Brighton, Bong said: “Please let me be clear: I know what I heard and I did not mishear. My conscience in raising the complaint is therefore entirely clear.”

The Cameroon international was also highly critical of those who had accused him of “bringing a false charge against a fellow professional”:

“Those who have accused me of doing that do not know me,” he said, adding: “Equally those who have expressed an opinion were not there on the pitch at the time and only Mr Rodriguez and I know exactly what was said and I stand by my original complaint.”

On a more positive note, Bong also said that – in his experience of English football – Rodriguez’s behaviour was an exception to the rule:

“This was my first such experience in more than three years in this country and I would never seek to bring a false charge against a fellow professional.”

Rodriguez maintained his innocence after the Independent Regulatory Commission’s verdict last Friday. ​As quoted on the BBC website, he said:

“I am always a great believer that the truth always comes out and it has.”

The West Brom striker also posted ​a statement on Twitter in which he reiterated that Bong’s claims were false:

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

However, in the statement issued by Brighton, Bong refused to be drawn into a long-running dispute with Rodriguez on the matter:

“I now wish to continue with my career, and won’t be commenting further on this matter even if Mr Rodriguez chooses to issue any further statements.”

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