Leeds United defender Ezgjan Alioski has escaped any punishment for a gesture made against Burnley. The gesture was made after Dwight McNeil tackled him and appeared to say something in his ear. Alioski then covered his ears and stuck out his tongue at McNeil. The incident escalated with both benches getting involved in a tussle. The Leeds defender denied that he made any discriminatory gesture. He revealed that he was imitating a mocking baby after the latter called him that in his ear.
“Based on all the available evidence in the case, the FA is not satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to charge Alioski with a breach of FA rule E3.2 and he will face no further action.” an FA statement regarding Leeds United defender Ezgjan Alioski read. “The FA is satisfied that the complaint was made in good faith and there is no suggestion of this being an intentionally false or malicious allegation.”
“All complaints and allegations of discriminatory abuse are taken extremely seriously, and the FA encourages all participants who believe that they have been subjecting or witness to such conduct to report it through the appropriate channels.” the statement added.
The FA also revealed that the player towards whom the gesture was made did not see it with the incident being reported by one of his teammates. The footage was shown during the hearing along with all written statements of the witnesses present during the time of the incident.
“While the original complainant maintained that the gesture could be perceived as discriminatory, he stated that it could also be perceived as a childish schoolyard gesture.” the FA concluded. “Another Burnley FC player accepted referring to Alioski as a ‘cry baby’ and a further Burnley FC player stated that he believed Alioski was acting childishly.”