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FA charges West Brom's Rodriguez over incident with Brighton's Bong

10 February 2018

West Brom boss Alan Pardew said he would continue to pick Jay Rodriguez after the striker was charged by the Football Association over an incident in which he allegedly used racist language.

Rodriguez, who won one England cap in 2013, has until February 16 to respond to the FA charge.

28-year-old charged for abusive and insulting words included a reference to ethnic origin/color or race.

Footage shows the pair arguing and bumping into each other, before Rodriguez holds his nose and waves his hand as if to gesture Bong smells.

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In the aftermath of the charge, he tweeted: "Absolutely gutted and in disbelief at the situation I find myself in".

Rodriguez's agent, Gary Mellor, has also commented on the incident, saying: "These allegations are totally untrue, there's no supporting evidence, and it's severely damaging to someone of impeccable character".

Bong appeared on French television channel SFR Sport to say Rodriguez's comment was "racist in nature", and Brighton said their player had the club's full backing as the FA opened its investigation.

Both players have made their cases at respective hearings since the game before, on Thursday, Rodriguez was officially charged but his club remain fully behind the forward.

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Pardew said: "We're in that world where everyone has to be so careful and talking about it I'm nervous".

"I spoke to the PFA [Professional Footballers' Association] this morning, I tried to contact Kick It Out this morning, but I have had no reply".

Pardew said at the time: "I know Jay well, and I'll be surprised if it is anything".

"It's a serious accusation so he wants to defend it".

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West Brom say they will "fully support" the England worldwide, who has until February 16 to respond to the FA.

FA charges West Brom's Rodriguez over incident with Brighton's Bong