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Monday 11 December 2017

Whelan charged by English FA over remarks

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has been charged by the English Football Association over remarks he allegedly made in response to criticism of the club's decision to appoint Malky Mackay as their new manager.

The 77-year-old publicly apologised for comments attributed to him in a British newspaper and strongly denied making any racist jibes, while also suggesting he was misquoted.

However, an English FA statement read: "It is alleged the Wigan Athletic chairman breached FA Rule E3(1) in that his comments were abusive and/or insulting and/or constitute improper conduct and/or bring the game into disrepute.

"It is further alleged that this is an 'Aggravated Breach' as defined by FA Rule E3(2) as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief."

Mackay's arrival at DW Stadium caused controversy due to the Scot being the subject of an investigation into reported racist and anti-Semitic texts sent while he was in charge of Cardiff City.

Among those to question the move to hire Mackay was local MP Lisa Nandy, who revealed she had received complaints from constituents over the issue.

The newspaper claimed that when asked about Mackay's past indiscretions, Whelan replied by saying it was "nothing" to call a Chinese person a "chink". Whelan was also reported to have stated: "Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else."

Whelan said he would resign his Wigan post should he be found guilty by the English FA following investigation. "If the FA look into my affairs - and they were to find me guilty, which I hope they don't and I don't see anything like that happening because I'm absolutely anti-racist, always have been, always will be - however, if they have any questions I'm willing to answer it and, should they even suggest I'm guilty I would immediately resign from my position as chairman of Wigan Athletic," he said.

Mackay has also denied being racist.

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan, who sacked Mackay last December, said: "Here we have a racist chairman hiring a racist manager. All the fans in Wigan now think it's okay to be racist.

"They follow the leader. So, how will the FA respond to this?"

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