Football: Newcastle's England international Shelvey banned five matches for racial abuse

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (left) has been banned for five matches after he was found guilty of racially abusing Moroccan midfielder Romain Saiss in a match on Sep 17, 2016.
Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (left) has been banned for five matches after he was found guilty of racially abusing Moroccan midfielder Romain Saiss in a match on Sep 17, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - England international football midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been banned for five games after he was found guilty of using racially abusive language by an independent panel on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old - who won the last of his six caps in 2015 - was also fined £100,000 (S$179,000) for abusing Moroccan midfielder Romain Saiss during his side Newcastle's 2-0 defeat by Wolves in their second-tier Championship clash in September.

Shelvey, who has been instrumental in Newcastle's drive for an immediate return to the Premier League, was reported to the match referee by Saiss' team-mates but he strongly denies making any such remarks.

"Jonjo Shelvey has been given a five-match suspension and £100,000 fine after an FA misconduct charge against him was found proven," read the FA statement.

"The Newcastle United player was charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent in the 87th minute of the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 17 September 2016.

"It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an "Aggravated Breach" as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality."

The former Liverpool and Swansea midfielder, who has also been ordered to attend a Football Association (FA) education course, has seven days to appeal.

Newcastle said they would wait to see the FA's written judgment before "making any further comment on the matter".