Jonjo Shelvey has lifted the lid on his clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers star Romain Saiss in 2016.
Jonjo Shelvey said “I went to the court and my story of the event held up. My lawyer absolutely made them crumble and their stories didn’t add up. The FA’s lawyers came out and said, while the verdict was being reached, ‘Well done, you’ve won’. We went back in and they said, ‘We’ve found you guilty, you’re getting a £100,000 fine and a five-game ban’. Obviously, the money wasn’t the thing, it was the fact that they were going to see you as this racist when you’re not. My uncle is black, how am I going to be a racist? It was the feeling of having that tagged to you. It wasn’t a nice feeling at the time because the whole stadium was singing ‘You racist…’. I know what happened. I had Dwight Gayle come with me as a witness and Aleksandar Mitrovic. I feel like the verdict was reached because of who it was and your reputation. I’ve not been in trouble since that so I’ve obviously learnt. Even if someone calls me a ‘bald-headed ****’..“I’ve got alopecia so I’ve got bald patches all over my head and I grew up with that, so obviously I’ve become accustomed to it, but it’s still not nice when people are saying it in your industry when they know you’ve got a condition. You live and you learn. If someone says that to me now, it’s not nice but so what. What happens on a football pitch stays on a football pitch. If there’s a problem and you want to do something after then we’ll go and talk about it after, but for me you shake hands at the end of the game and get on with it.”
Newcastle United midfielder Shelvey was accused of racially abusing Saiss during Wolves’ 2-0 win at St James’ Park in the Championship. The England international was subsequently banned for five matches and fined £100,000 after being found guilty at an FA hearing. Dominic Iorfa, Matt Doherty and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – who was on loan at Wolves from Manchester United at the time – all gave evidence against Shelvey.
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