Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome ‘misinterpreted’ Guiseppe Bellusci’s insult, according to the FA
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Leeds United defender Giuseppe Bellusci was cleared of racially abusing Norwich City's Cameron Jerome because he was actually threatening to give the striker 'a black eye', the Football Association has revealed.
The Italian was charged following an incident during the 1-1 draw between the teams at Carrow Road in October, where the Italian was alleged to have directed a racial insult at the Canaries' striker.
But an independent regulatory commission dropped the case at a personal hearing earlier this month after Bellusci denied the charge.
The FA published a document this morning outlining the reasons why the three-man commission rejected the allegations and insisted the 'consistent evidence' put forward by the Leeds player led to him being cleared.
The 25-year-old was accused of calling Jerome a 'negro' but the panel accepted his explanation that he said the word 'nero', the Italian term for black, while threatening Jerome with a black eye.
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The document read: 'On the balance of probabilities, we find that Mr Bellusci used the word 'nero' once, in the context that he claims, and that Mr Jerome misheard or misinterpreted what was said as 'negro'.
'Once that misapprehension was planted in his mind, Mr Jerome's reaction to it was entirely understandable. It inevitably set off an inquiry that was properly pursued and which culminated in this hearing.'
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It continued: 'In arriving at our decision, the commission reiterates that we found Mr Jerome to be a truthful witness who honestly believed that he had been racially abused. He may well continue to do so.
'The commission further acknowledges the willingness of Mr Jerome to make fair and appropriate concessions, both in interview and in his oral evidence.
'We were satisfied that at all times he sought to assist the commission, but that he was mistaken in his hearing and understanding of what Mr Bellusci said to him.'
Referee Mark Clattenburg included his version of events in a report of the game and the FA announced it would investigate the allegation from Jerome – who, along with his club, indicated they were deeply disappointed with the FA's decision to deem Bellusci's appeal as successful.