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 By PA Sport

Brighton's Chris Hughton disappointed Jay Rodriguez cleared of racial abuse charges

Gaetan Bong.
An FA investigation uncovered no evidence of racial abuse against Brighton's Gaetan Bong.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton said he is disappointed that West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez was cleared of a charge of racial abuse against Gaetan Bong.

Rodriguez was accused of using "abusive and/or insulting words, which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race" toward Bong during a Premier League match at The Hawthorns in January that West Brom won 2-0.

Rodriguez, who scored West Brom's goal at Manchester United on Sunday, assuring Manchester City of the title -- has denied what he described as a "false allegation."

The Football Association stressed there had been "no suggestion by any party involved in this case that this was a malicious or fabricated complaint," and said it was "completely satisfied that this was a complaint made in absolute good faith."

Rodriguez claimed he simply commented that Bong had bad breath.

Hughton praised the way the FA communicated its findings throughout the investigation but remains unhappy with the outcome.

"The wording in both statements, from the FA and the committee, says the right things," Hughton said. "Some of the wording, in effect, says [Bong] was right to make the complaint.

"It says it was not proven. There was other wording in there, too, which I think exonerates him from making the accusation. How [Bong] has dealt with it, his own reply, shows what kind of person he is.

"There are particular words from both statements that suggest it wasn't improper for him to make the accusation and from both parties it's not a question of not believing what he said.

"He's a very strong individual, very disciplined. You could see that by the words in his own reply. He'll look to put this behind him and concentrate on what will be a very tough end to the season."

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