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By ESPN Staff

Emre requests FA hearing over racism charge

Newcastle midfielder Emre has requested a personal hearing with the Football ssociation after denying allegations of racism.

Emre has formally denied an FA charge of using racially-aggravated language.

The 26-year-old Turkish international was charged after an incident in his side's 3-0 Premiership defeat at Everton on December 30.

Emre had until January 29 to respond and an FA spokesman last night confirmed he has denied the allegations.

He said: 'Newcastle's Belozoglu Emre has denied a charge of using racially-aggravated abusive and/or insulting words and has requested a personal hearing.'

The charge arises from a clash between the former Inter Milan star and Tim Howard, Joleon Lescott and Joseph Yobo.

The four players were involved in angry exchanges after the Magpies were awarded a penalty shortly before half-time in the game at Goodison Park and had to be separated by team-mates.

Match referee Dermot Gallagher did not hear what was said and after consulting his assistant, spoke to the Newcastle man but took no further action.

However, Gallagher included details of the allegations in his match report and the FA immediately launched an inquiry.

Magpies boss Glenn Roeder visited the Everton dressing room after the final whistle to try to calm the situation, but last week issued a statement in whic he strenuously denied trying to cover up a racist attack.

In the meantime, the FA asked Everton for their observations and after receiving them, charged Emre on January 12.

Newcastle's response was to indicate that the former Galatasaray player would deny the charge, and he will now have the chance to argue his case in front of a disciplinary panel.

If convicted, he could face a lengthy ban, a heavy fine or both, although Roeder is adamant he is innocent.

In his statement last week, he said: 'At the conclusion of the match, I went into the opposition dressing room to apologise for what had been an ugly incident on the pitch.

'I was doing the decent thing because I am sensitive to the image of the sport.

'At no time did I make any apology for racist comments because Emre had told me clearly what he had said, and while not being particularly pleasant, it was not racist.'

Emre, who Roeder revealed has been upset by the accusation, has missed his side's last four games with a calf injury, but could return for the league clash with Aston Villa next Wednesday evening.