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SWINDON TOWN: Town stand by Di Canio
SWINDON Town have stood by manager Paolo Di Canio in the wake of a race storm sparked by a Football Association investigation into allegations of racial abuse on the part of the Italian.
The FA confirmed yesterday that they have opened inquiries into an incident, reported to have taken place in March this year, during which former loanee Jonathan Tehoue claims to have been the victim of racist language.
In a statement, Town rejected the accusations and gave their full backing to Di Canio, saying that the matter had already been brought to light, considered and dealt with in-house prior to Tehoue’s decision to approach the English game’s governing body with his complaint.
The statement heavily criticised the tabloid media for its use of “sensationalism” and “innuendo”, while insisting that the club maintains a “zero tolerance approach towards racism.”
Swindon interim chairman Jeremy Wray said it was important that the club responded to the incident being dragged into the public domain.
“Jonathan Tehoue has a right to pursue a legal course if he wants to and some things have to stay in the legal field,” Wray told the Advertiser.
“We’ve dealt with what we need to. I was very keen that tabloid journalism should not cover up the facts.”
The Robins have stressed that they will be happy to help the FA as they look into the claims.
The statement released yesterday by the club read: “There is always a danger that without appropriate response, the headline grabbing approach of tabloid journalism, based on innuendo and sensationalism rather than facts, creates a misguided belief along the lines of 'there is no smoke without fire'.
“For the record, STFC states categorically that it operates a zero tolerance approach towards racism.
“With regard to the specific complaint raised by Jonathan Tehoue, the board was fully appraised of the facts at the time of the alleged incident back in March and having investigated it, was satisfied that it was without merit and took appropriate action then. The club will of course however happily assist the FA in its enquiries.
“The manager, Paolo Di Canio, denies completely any suggestion that he used toward Jonathan Tehoue or anyone, abusive, insulting or threatening words or behaviour by reference to race or at all and the board wishes to affirm its complete and unequivocal support for its manager in this regard.
“Further, the board is wholly satisfied that any decisions concerning Jonathan Tehoue's playing career whilst at STFC were made for purely footballing reasons.”