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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 19, 2007

Emre racism allegations 'not proven' - FA

Newcastle midfielder Emre was celebrating tonight after allegations of racial abuse against him were found not proven.

The 26-year-old Turkey international appeared before an independent disciplinary commission today after denying an Football Association charge of using racially-aggravated abusive and/or insulting words during his side's 3-0 defeat at Everton on December 30.

While the verdict fell short of complete exoneration, the commission did not find him guilty, lifting the cloud hanging over his career.

The former Inter Milan star, who denied the charge from the off, was delighted to have cleared his name.

He said: 'I am very pleased to be found not guilty. I am not a racist and I condemn racism.

'I am very happy to receive a fair hearing and I hope that I can now resume my career free of the pressure of some of the reports that have been published about me.

'I now want to get on with my career and I am very grateful for all the support I have had from everybody at the club and those people close to me.'

Emre was joined at today's hearing at an undisclosed venue by his legal team and Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder, chairman Freddy Shepherd, chief operating officer Russell Cushing and team-mate Nicky Butt.

A statement released by the FA said: 'Having heard all the evidence presented, and having regard to the standard of proof agreed with both the FA and Newcastle United, we were not satisfied that the charge was proved.'

The commission's decision came as a huge relief to both the player and his club, who had backed him all the way amid a series of accusations.

Emre was charged after match referee Dermot Gallagher, who did not hear what was said during angry exchanges between Emre and Tim Howard, Joleon Lescott and Joseph Yobo, was informed of the allegations and included them in his match report.

The FA contacted Everton and, after receiving their response, charged the player on January 12.

Fresh allegations were made in a series of reports which claimed Bolton striker El-Hadji Diouf and Watford midfielder Alhassan Bangura had also been abused by Emre, prompting Newcastle to complain of a witch-hunt against their player.

Diouf did not want to purse the matter, while the FA are still considering Bangura's evidence.

Roeder himself was drawn into the row after it emerged he had visited the Everton dressing room following the final whistle, with the 51-year-old issuing a statement denying he had tried to cover up the incident.

The manager revealed Emre had told him what he said and, while it was not pleasant, he insisted it was not racist.

Shepherd to was happy to have seen the club's support for their employee vindicated.

He told the club's official website: 'The FA gave Emre a very fair hearing and we are very pleased with the outcome.

'I am very proud of the fact that Newcastle United as a football club has always been a strong champion of the efforts to rid sport and society of racism, and we will continue to maintain our long tradition of supporting anti-racism initiatives.'

Had the charge been proven, the Magpies would have found themselves in a difficult situation, with Roeder having stated publicly he would not tolerate racism.

Both Bayern Munich and former club Galatasaray have been linked with Emre amid speculation he could be offloaded, although today's decision clears the way for the midfielder to continue his career on Tyneside.

He returned to action after an 11-game absence with a calf injury - which coincided with the furore surrounding the charge - as a substitute in the 4-2 UEFA Cup victory over AZ Alkmaar on March 8, and was given a warm welcome by the fans at St James' Park.