Update: Leeds United owner defends Giuseppe Bellusci over alleged racist slur against Norwich City’s Cameron Jerome
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The owner of Leeds United has said Giuseppe Bellusci is “no racist”, as the FA launched a probe into claims he made a racist slur against a Norwich city player.
Norwich City boss Neil Adams insisted Cameron Jerome can count on the full support of the Canaries after the alleged incident during Tuesday night’s 1-1 Championship draw at Carrow Road.
The FA will now await referee Mark Clattenburg’s full report of the first half flashpoint, after Adams confirmed the two clubs had provided statements following the match.
Clattenburg stopped the game during the opening period when Jerome and Bellusci had squared up following a corner, before the official then spoke to both managers on the touchline. Jerome was booked within seconds of the game restarting for a foul on the Leeds centre back, but Adams revealed in his post-match interview the City frontman was adamant he had been racially abused.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino said: “Bellusci is no racist. I spoke with him and he said, ‘You must be joking, I said nothing like this to him [Jerome].’ He is surprised by this. He is shocked.”
“Cameron Jerome has alleged he was the subject of a racist remark,” said Adams. “Because of that Mark Clattenburg, who I felt handled the incident very well, came over to the touchline to explain to Darko (Milanic) and myself what I have just told you. He spoke to Cameron because of the way he had reacted. That was what he explained to us. He spoke to the players at half-time with a representative from each club and statements have been made now. Mark will submit a report to the relevant authorities and it will be dealt with from there.
“He didn’t take any action at the time. He merely relayed what Cameron had said. It must now go through the proper channels. Yes, Bellusci is the player who has been alleged to have made the remark. My concern was to speak to Cameron at the break to make sure his head was right.”
Adams is confident the FA and the Football League will now deal fully with the matter.
“We back our player. I’m sure Leeds will back their player but other than that we can’t comment any further because there is now going to be an investigation I would expect,” he said. “I’ve never experienced this at first team level. We had one incident at youth team level. It has been handled the right way. Everyone will get a chance to have their say.”
Leeds counterpart Milanic planned to speak to Bellusci on the long journey back to Yorkshire.
“After the game I have not gone back to the changing room. I have five hours now on the bus to talk with him. I haven’t talked with the player,” he said. “It is extremely difficult for me to comment on something I haven’t heard and is new for me. It is better if other people in the club comment on this matter. I haven’t talked with him so I don’t know if he is denying it or not.”
Jermone has said he will “have my time to speak” about his allegation. In a series of tweets sent late last night, Jermone said: “As all will know a allegation has been made by myself to the referee in which he made note of and will write it in his match report.
“On what was actually said would not be fair for me to say at this point but it will be a matter for the governing body to deal with.
“Will have my time to speak and say my versions of events but this evening and twitter is not the place to do so.”