Mirror.co.uk | Jay Rodriguez in race storm with FA set to review Gaetan Bong incident – but striker is ‘indignant with rage’ over accusation
The Baggies striker was at the centre of allegations after Albion’s 2-0 win at The Hawthorns
Jay Rodriguez last night became the latest player to be embroiled in a race storm as a sorry week for English football came to an end.
West Brom’s striker was at the centre of allegations that he had abused Brighton’s Gaetan Bong during the Baggies’ 2-0 victory at The Hawthorns.
The Seagulls defender informed referee Martin Atkinson of his anger at Rodriguez’s actions after the final whistle.
And the FA will now launch an investigation into the incident after what has been a tumultuous few days for race relations in the sport.
It comes after allegations of bullying and racism by Newcastle Under-23 coach Peter Beardsley and former Chelsea coaches Graham Rix and Gwyn Williams.
With the FA also investigating another row involving Everton’s Mason Holgate and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, following last week’s Merseyside derby, the latest incident has cast the game in an even poorer light.
Craig Dawson had just headed West Brom’s second goal when the pair clashed near the touchline. Television pictures show Rodriguez recoiling and holding his nose.
Brighton boss Chris Hughton confirmed that something had been said between the pair. Bong was unhappy and communicated the allegation both to his manager and the match official.
Sources close to Rodriguez said last night that the player was “indignant with rage” that he had been accused of racism.
Hughton said: “There was something said to Gaetan Bong by Jay Rodriguez, which has been reported to the referee. There was an incident.
“We’ll go through the right channels. The referee is aware of it. There was an allegation. I’ve spoken to the referee and it will go in his report to the Football Association.”
West Brom boss Alan Pardew said: “All I can say is that, knowing Jay Rodriguez, I find it very difficult to understand that there is any allegation.
“I’ve asked Jay and he claims that the allegation, whatever it is, is untrue. I have no idea of the nature of the allegation.”
The FA said last night they were waiting for Atkinson’s report on the game and could not comment until they had received it.