November 4, 2019 / 6:47 PM / a month ago

Leeds' Casilla denies FA charge of racially abusing Charlton's Leko

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - October 1, 2019 Leeds United's Kiko Casilla in action. Action Images/Ed Sykes

(Reuters) - Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has “strenuously” denied racially abusing Charlton Athletic forward Jonathan Leko in a Championship match after the FA charged him on Monday.

The FA said last month that it was investigating the allegation after Charlton confirmed the incident had been reported to the referee following their 1-0 win at The Valley in September.

"It is alleged that, contrary to Rule E3(1), the Leeds United goalkeeper used abusive and/or insulting words towards a Charlton Athletic player during an EFL Championship fixture on 28 September 2019," the FA said in a statement here

“It is further alleged that the words constitute an ‘aggravated breach’... as they made reference to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin.”

Leko, 20, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but has played for England’s youth teams, making his debut for the Under-20s in September.

The FA said Spaniard Casilla has until Nov. 12 to respond and Leeds released a statement later on Monday to acknowledge the charge.

"Kiko strenuously denies the allegation and has proactively worked with the FA during their investigation to date," the second-tier club said in a statement here

“The next step of this process will be a personal hearing, in the meantime Kiko will remain available for selection.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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