Jonjo Shelvey and Newcastle consider their options after midfielder banned for five games

Jonjo Shelvey is considering an appeal after being hit with a five-game ban.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:03 pm
Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey battles against Wolves earlier this season

An independent panel yesterday found the Newcastle United midfielder guilty of racially abusing a Wolverhampton Wanderers player.

Shelvey, also fined £100,000 and ordered to take an education course, has a week in which to lodge an appeal against the suspension.

The 24-year-old strongly denied the Football Association misconduct charge. And two players, reportedly Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic, also backed his version of events.

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Shelvey is alleged to have used a racial slur against Moroccan Romain Saiss.

The incident was reported to match referee Tim Robinson by a team-mate of Saiss, who speaks limited English. The FA eventually charged Shelvey last month after a lengthy investigation into the allegation.

Shelvey and the club will study the “written reasons” for the verdict before making a decision on an appeal.

The final decision on any appeal will rest with Shelvey, who has been a influential player on the pitch this season.

In the meantime, the FA have set aside the ban, meaning that Shelvey will be available for the Boxing Day home game against Sheffield Wednesday if he chooses to contest the decision.

A United statement read: “Jonjo Shelvey has been given a five-match suspension and £100,000 fine after an FA misconduct charge against him was found proven.

“Jonjo was charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent in the 87th minute of the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 17 September 2016.

“It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.

“The player, who denied the charge at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, was also ordered to attend an FA education course.

“The sanction has been set aside pending consideration for an appeal.

“The player has seven days from receipt of written reasons in which to lodge any appeal.

“The club and the player will await the FA’s written reasons before making any further comment on this matter.”

Shelvey was reportedly taunted about his alopecia by Wolves players during the Championship game, which league leaders Newcastle lost 2-0.

The England international has the full support of United.

Speaking after the weekend’s 2-1 win over Burton Albion, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez said: “We know that he has the quality, and, hopefully, everything will be OK.

“Hopefully, the situation will be fine and we can carry on playing football, that is what he has to do.”

Benitez has also spoken about Shelvey’s close friendships with team-mates of all races and nationalities at United.

Meanwhile, Wolves have “welcomed” the verdict.

A statement read: “Wolves welcome the verdict following the FA’s investigation into an allegation of abusive and/or insulting words towards one of the club’s players in the fixture at Newcastle United in September.”