| 7.5°C Dublin

Wigan's chief Whelan facing ban over comments


Dave Whelan

Dave Whelan

Dave Whelan

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is facing the likelihood of a ban from the English Football Association after accepting a misconduct charge over comments he made regarding Jewish and Chinese people.

Whelan, 78, will be writing a letter in mitigation to the English FA after requesting a non-personal hearing which will decide on the sanction.

He has admitted an aggravated misconduct charge after a newspaper interview defending his decision to appoint Malky Mackay as the club's new manager. Mackay is the subject of an investigation into alleged racist and anti-Semitic texts sent while he was in charge of Cardiff.

Whelan told a British newspaper it was "nothing" to call a Chinese person a "chink" and stated: "Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else." An English FA spokesman said: "We can confirm Mr Whelan has accepted the charge."

A ban of a couple of months looks likely as the offence is comparable to a four-month ban handed out to a senior Northumberland FA official who made derogatory and sexist comments about female referees. Whelan's admission and letter of mitigation may see a lesser sanction imposed.

Whelan has previously indicated he would resign if the FA even suggested he was guilty of using racist language.

He told ITV News in November: "If the FA look into my affairs and they were to find me guilty, which I hope they don't - and I don't see anything like that happening because I'm absolutely anti-racist, always have been, always will be - however, if they have any questions I'm willing to answer it and should they even suggest I'm guilty, I would immediately resign from my position as chairman of Wigan Athletic.''

In charging Whelan on November 27, the FA said: "It is alleged the Wigan Athletic chairman breached FA Rule E3[1] in that his comments were abusive and/or insulting and/or constitute improper conduct and/or bring the game into disrepute.

"It is further alleged that this is an 'aggravated breach' as defined by FA Rule E3(2) as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief," he added.