The FA hand Latics chairman Dave Whelan a ban and fine following media comments.
Wigan Athletic can confirm the findings of an Independent Regulatory Commission following statements made by Chairman Dave Whelan in the Guardian newspaper on November 20.
In summary, the FA Commission concluded that: “We are satisfied on the evidence before us that Mr Whelan is not a racist. We are equally satisfied on the evidence before us that Mr Whelan did not intend to cause any offence by his comments. It is clear that he himself is very upset by the words he used and he moved very quickly to apologise publicly, plead guilty and begin to make amends.”
However, the commission explained that it had a duty to ‘view the comments objectively and Mr Whelan’s subjective intentions were irrelevant as far the ruling was concerned’, hence the punishment announced today.
Mr Whelan admitted the charge of breaching FA Rule E3 relating to abusive and/or insulting and/or improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute, plus a further breach of FA Rule E3, relating to a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.
He also submitted a detailed report explaining the circumstances in which the interview took place, as mitigation.
The FA have suspended Mr Whelan from football and football-related activities for a six week period
He has also been fined £50,000 plus costs and ordered to undertake a programme of education provided by the FA.