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Dave Whelan charged over racist remarks

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has been charged by the Football Association over remarks he allegedly made in response to criticism of the club's decision to appoint Malky Mackay as their new manager.

The 77-year-old publicly apologised for comments attributed to him in the Guardian and strongly denied making any racist jibes, while also suggesting he was misquoted.

However, an FA statement read: "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."

Mackay's arrival at DW Stadium caused controversy due to the Scot being the subject of an investigation into reported racist and anti-Semitic texts sent while he was in charge of Cardiff City.

Among those to question the move to hire Mackay was local MP Lisa Nandy, who revealed she had received complaints from constituents over the issue.

The Guardian claimed that when asked about Mackay's past indiscretions, Whelan replied by saying it was "nothing" to call a Chinese person a "chink".

Whelan was also reported to have stated: "Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else."

Whelan has threatened to quit the club if found guilty by the FA, having been branded "a racist" by Cardiff owner Vincent Tan in the fall-out from this controversy.

Malaysian businessman Tan, who sacked Mackay last December, told Sky Sports News: "Can you imagine if Mr Whelan was the head of the FA? Here we have a racist chairman hiring a racist manager. All the fans in Wigan now think it's okay to be racist.

"They follow the leader. So, how will the FA respond to this? I personally hope the FA is not a toothless regulator in this matter.

"What are Jewish and Chinese people thinking of the UK today? Action must be taken because the world is watching."

Whelan told ITV News: "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."

The FA last week confirmed that their investigation into Mackay's actions during his Cardiff tenure is still ongoing.

A statement read: "The FA did not come into possession of the relevant evidence relating to the messages until mid-October. This came out of many thousands of emails and texts and we are still in the process of obtaining additional information.

"The FA is still investigating whether these messages indicate a culture in which other acts of a discriminatory nature may have taken place. This process inevitably takes time."

Online Editors