During West Brom's 2-0 win over Brighton yesterday an incident occured between The Baggie's Jay Rodriguez and Albion's Gaetan Bong which led to the West Brom defender lodging a complaint with referee Martin Atkinson.
The players came together in a tussle for the ball just before the hour and afterwards Rodriguez allegedly held his nose when he was spoken to closely by Gaetan. West Brom boss Alan Pardew said after the game that he expects an FA investigation following the incident.
There’s been an allegation made by the Brighton full-back to the referee and that allegation will go to the FA. I only can say on my behalf, because I haven’t seen the incident, knowing Jay Rodriguez I find it very difficult to understand, that there has been an allegation of any kind.
Rodriguez himself vehemently denies any wrongdoing and his team mate, Irish international Jame McClean has taken to Twitter this morning to jump to his defence.
Gaetan Bong also used his Twitter account to offer his take on the incident:
Seagulls boss Chris Hughton shared his views after the match, with the former Republic of Ireland international indicating that the FA will be asked to do an investigation into the allegations.
There was something said to Gaeten Bong by Jay Rodriguez which has been reported to the referee," Hughton said. There was an allegation and something which will then go through the correct channels. I have spoken to the referee and that will go in his report to the FA.
The FA will now open an investigation tomorrow after they receive Martin Atkinson's referees report on the game. The allegations come during a tumultuous few weeks for race relations in football, with the FA having been dealing with a similar complaint from Everton's Mason Holgate on Liverpool's Roberto Firmino with the alleged incident occurring during the all Merseyside FA Cup 3rd round tie last Friday Night at Anfield.