Leeds United concerned by FA's standard of proof in Kiko Casilla alleged racism case
Angus Kinnear says the Football Association's standard of proof is a concern for Leeds United in the racism case against Kiko Casilla.
The goalkeeper is alleged to have used racist language in an incident involving Charlton Athletic's Jonathan Leko during a game at The Valley in September.
Casilla, who denies the allegation, has been charged by the FA.
According to Kinnear, Leeds United remain determined to stamp out racism in the game but must take into account their player's version of events and his previous record.
"This week Kiko Casilla received a charge for an aggravated breach of FA rule E3. As many will have seen reported in the press, it has been suggested that Kiko used discriminatory language during our game with Charlton Athletic in September," wrote Kinnear in his matchday programme notes.
"The club's unequivocal stance is that racism will not be tolerated in any form and this standard is applied across staff, coaches, players and supporters.
"However it is important to assert that Kiko vehemently denies the allegation and has fully cooperated with the investigation.
"As well as Kiko's word, he can evidence a long distinguished and unblemished career playing alongside teammates, and against opponents, with an eclectic mix of ethnicities and nationalities."
Kinnear says Leeds have no issue with the allegation being investigated fully, but the FA's standard of proof is an area of concern.
Unlike a court case, a hearing at the FA will not demand that an allegation is proved beyond reasonable doubt.
The Whites believe that should be the standard by which Casilla's case is dealt with, given the seriousness of the issue and its potential ramifications.
"As a club we fully support such a serious allegation being subject to full investigation and a disciplinary process. Our only concern is that the standard of proof for an FA hearing is not 'beyond all reasonable doubt' but 'on the balance of probability.' We believe that in cases of this seriousness the higher standard of proof is more appropriate. This is not because we fear a sporting sanction, but because a man's reputation is at stake."