Fernando Forestieri has been banned for six games after being found guilty of using racist language by the Football Association’s independent regulatory commission.
The Sheffield Wednesday striker was accused of making the comments to Krystian Pearce during a pre-season friendly with Mansfield last July.
Fernando Forestieri was found guilty of using racist language[/caption]
It sparked a mass brawl on the pitch involving players from both sides.
Forestieri was acquitted at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court of racially abusing Pearce in March but was charged by the FA.
The commission deemed the case against Forestieri proven, and the 29-year-old has also been given a £25,000 fine, warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend face-to-face education.
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Forestieri immediately announced he would be appealing, saying he is ‘devastated and disappointed’ by the outcome.
In a statement on Wednesday’s official website, he said: “I have now been the subject of allegations of racism for over a year and it has been an extremely stressful time for both me personally and also my family in both England and Argentina.
“I am not and never will be a person or a footballer who says offensive things by reference to race to my colleagues or other players, either on or off the pitch.
“The decision today therefore goes against everything about the person I am and the person I was brought up to be.
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“It is absolutely no comfort to me that, when charging me with misconduct, the FA were very clear that they did not consider me to be racist but instead believed that I had acted in the ‘heat of the moment’.
“To be prevented from playing the game of football, which I love, for six matches is a major matter in my life, but it is insignificant compared to the wider implications of the decision and the unjustified stain that it places on my character.”