As Friday came to a close, most Leeds United fans had their eyes on today’s early kick off against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium and with an already ‘strained’ relationship with the EFL and Football Association, they thought late yesterday evening was an appropriate time to announce that they had guessed ‘on the balance of probability’ that goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was guilty of the charge of racism against Charlton Athletic’s Jonathan Leko.
📰 #LUFC acknowledges that Kiko Casilla has been found guilty of breaching FA Rule E3
— Leeds United (@LUFC) February 28, 2020
The official club statement tells fans what they need to know where. Finding the 33-year-old Spaniard guilty ‘on the balance of probability’ means simply that he wasn’t found guilty ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ with solid and reliable evidence.
Yet the Football Association panel have found him in breach of FA Rule E3 from the game going back to September 2019. As the statement points out, Kiko has always denied the charge made against him.
He now begins an immediate eight game ban, has been fined £60,000 and ordered to attend a face to face education session.
I can only assume Leeds had more of a heads up here before the news was announced and we had naturally prepared 19-year-old Illan Meslier for the possibility of his second appearance for us later today, but plenty of fans have understandably questioned the timing here.
Most fans had more than made their thoughts clear on what should happen HAD Kiko been found guilty with evidence, but having received a longer ban than Sheffield Wednesday’s Fernando Forestieri and with so much assumption here, it certainly leaves a sour taste. Nobody knows what the ultimate truth is here and few would argue clear racism shouldn’t be dealt with strongly – but plenty will question if such a significant punishment should follow without clear proof.
"The FA panel have based their decision on the balance of probability rather than proving Kiko to be guilty" pic.twitter.com/9xR0bYfUlx
— YBI (@YeboahBelieveIt) February 28, 2020
Less than 24 hour before kick off. Classic football league.
— FocusOnLeeds (@FocusOnLeeds) February 28, 2020
Absolute joke had over a week to sort this out. Bet they’ve waited until the last minute with it being an early kick off
— Nathan Prout (@Nathan_Prout) February 28, 2020
FA are corrupt to the core. To charge a bloke without any proof is an absolute shambles. Less than 16 hours before he is due to play for his club as well. Truly truly horrendous
— Oliver Medd (@OliverMedd7) February 28, 2020
If we had been mid table? No charge.
— Tony Mitchell (@TonyMitchell) February 28, 2020
Kiko found guilty for speaking Spanish 👀
— Chris Bramley (@squasher7) February 28, 2020
Fa trying to screw us over again I see waiting 5 month for a decision we all knew they were going to reach and then announcing it 16 hours before said player is due to play and without any proof based on the chance that it could have happened. What a joke
— samuel gallagher (@samuelgallaghe2) February 28, 2020
Finding someone guilty for a charge as serious as this "on the balance of probability" is a disgrace. It makes a mockery of any actual offence. The potential reputational, not to mention psychological, damage if Casilla turns out to be innocent is largely irreversible 💛💙 #LUFC
— Matt Abbott 🌹 (@MattAbbottPoet) February 28, 2020
That’s weird after 3 straight clean sheets!? Strange
— Mark Ramm (@LufcRammy) February 28, 2020