Jonjo Shelvey will be available for Newcastle United’s clash with Leeds United, despite being up on an FA charge.
But after the England international requested a personal hearing, which is likely to take place next week, he is in likely to be in United’s starting XI for the trip to Elland Road on Sunday.
The 24-year-old could face a lengthy ban if found guilty of the charge, after being accused of using racially abusive language towards an opponent in the Magpies’ Championship game against Wolves back on September 17.
A club statement read: “Newcastle United can confirm that Jonjo Shelvey has today pleaded not guilty to an FA charge of misconduct in relation to an alleged incident during Newcastle United’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, 17 September.
“The player has requested a personal hearing with the FA regarding this matter.
“The club will be making no further comment until the matter has been concluded.”
The incident is believed to involve Wolves’ Moroccan international Romain Saiss. Although, the complaint was not believed to have been made by the player himself, given that his English rumoured to be limited.
It’s understood teammates reported the supposed abusive language by Shelvey to match officials immediately after the game at St James Park two months ago.
Shelvey could miss five games if found guilty, which would not only be a huge blow to his reputation but also Newcastle’s promotion bid.
Last week an FA statement said: “It is alleged that in or around the 87th minute of the fixture he (Shelvey) used abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent.
“It is further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) is an ‘Aggravated Breach’ as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.”
A number of meaty suspensions have been dished out for similar offences.
Five years ago Luis Suarez was handed an eight game ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra. More recently Burnley forward Andre Gray got a four-game ban for homophobic Twitter posts.