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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Gaetan Bong on Jay Rodriguez racial abuse: 'I know what I heard'

Gaetan Bong and Jay Rodriguez clashed in January.

Brighton defender Gaetan Bong claims his character has been called into question after West Brom's Jay Rodriguez was cleared of a charge of alleged racial abuse.

Rodriguez was accused of using "abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race" to Cameroon international Bong during the Baggies' 2-0 Premier League victory over the Seagulls on Jan. 13.

Rodriguez described Bong's claim as a "false allegation" but he defender has now reiterated the claim and said "I did not mishear."

The striker requested a personal hearing and was cleared last week when the Football Association determined that "on the balance of probabilities the allegation was not proven."

Press Association Sport reported Rodriguez claimed he purely commented that Bong had bad breath.

Brighton have defended Gaetan Bong after a charge he was racially abused by West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez was found to be not proven by the Football Association. He faced a five-game ban if found guilty but WBA backed the former Southampton man throughout the disciplinary process.

On Wednesday evening Brighton issued a statement on behalf of Bong that supported their player's version of events.

The statement read: "Mr Rodriguez's actions during our game against West Bromwich Albion, followed by statements issued by him and on his behalf by his various PR and legal advisors, have resulted in my character being questioned and subsequently for a number of accusations to be directed at me.

"Please let me be clear: I know what I heard and I did not mishear. My conscience in raising the complaint is therefore entirely clear.

"This was my first such experience in more than three years in this country and I would never seek to bring a false charge against a fellow professional.

"Those who have accused me of doing that do not know me. Equally those who have expressed an opinion were not there on the pitch at the time and only Mr Rodriguez and I know exactly what was said and I stand by my original complaint.

"I now wish to continue with my career, and won't be commenting further on this matter even if Mr Rodriguez chooses to issue any further statements.''

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