Alan Pardew backs Jay Rodriguez at hearing on Gaetan Bong racism charge

West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez appeared before an independent commission at Wembley on Wednesday to face a Football Association charge of allegedly racially abusing Brighton defender Gaetan Bong.

Rodriguez, who has denied the allegation, was backed at the hearing by ex-West Brom boss Alan Pardew. Pardew left the Hawthorns earlier this month but spoke on behalf of his former player.

Sky Sports reported that the panel deliberating the charge talked for more than three hours but did not reach a decision, with one not now expected until Thursday at the earliest.

Former Southampton and Burnley player Rodriguez was interviewed by the FA following the incident, which happened during a Premier League game at the Hawthorns on Jan. 13.

He said at the time he had made reference to Bong’s “bad breath” but nothing else.

Pardew was fully supportive of the player and West Brom director of football Richard Garlick has taken a similar stance, saying the club are “fully committed to backing Jay throughout this process.”

The 28-year-old could be given a minimum five-match ban if found guilty, a punishment that would rule him out for the rest of the season.

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