LEEDS United director Edoardo Cellino has been suspended from all football-related activity for three games and fined £5,000 following offensive social media comments in which he called a Whites fan a “spastic”.
Edoardo, who has been a member of United’s board since his father Massimo Cellino bought the club in April 2014, was cited over remarks made by him on Facebook and Instagram last month.
In angry online exchanges, Edoardo described one female fan as a “whale” and called another fan a “spastic” and a “moron”.
Edoardo was subsequently charged by the FA following a breach of FA rules.
The charge, which Edoardo denied, was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Monday.
As well as having to serve his suspension with immediate effect, Edoardo was also warned as to his future conduct and must complete an education course within four months.
An FA statement released on Wednesday morning read: “Edoardo Cellino has been suspended from all football and football-related activity until such time as Leeds United have completed three first team matches in approved competitions and fined £5,000 following a breach of FA Rules.
“It was alleged social comments made by the Leeds United director were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper in contravention of Rule E3(1).
“It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included a reference to disability.”
Edoardo later apologised for his comments, telling the Daily Mail: “I would like to apologise for any offence that I have caused.
“After receiving a lot of abusive messages my emotions got the better of me and I reacted in a way that was unprofessional.
“I believe the messages were private but I know I should not have done this. I did not fully understand the severity of the words used as English is not my first language. Again, I can only apologise.”
Asked to respond to the initial charge, Leeds said Edoardo had apologised previously and made no further comment.