Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has recently been found guilty of using racist language towards Jonathan Leko earlier in this year’s campaign.
The Spaniard was hit with an eight-game ban, which started in their recent win over Hull City, with Illan Meslier filling in for the shot-stopper against the Tigers.
Meslier kept a clean-sheet in the win over Grant McCann’s side, and will be hoping he can play his part in Leeds’ promotion push this season.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference (quotes sourced from Leeds Live, 12:35pm) ahead of their game against Huddersfield Town, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa reiterated his view on the charge for Casilla, and claims that they need to accept the decision.
“The people who have to judge Kiko have already done it.
“The people who represent Leeds, the club, what we do is accept the authorities’ decisions.
“Our authorities have the right to judge what they judge. When one club is part of one competition the club knows that the authorities have the right to judge like they did here or in another situation when you accept the regulations, so you have to accept the decision.”
Bielsa went on to offer his sympathy towards Jonathan Leko over the incident, and was quick to state that he doesn’t want his support for Casilla to be interpreted in the wrong way.
“Any person who suffers and receives abuse, this person deserves the solidarity, the support of everybody.
“I don’t want people to interpret supporting Kiko at this moment means we are in favour of racists.
“For this reason I say again any person that sufferers racist abuse deserves the support of all of us. But if any person of us is suffering we act in the human sense.”
Leeds will be hoping they can pick up a much-needed win against Huddersfield Town this weekend at Elland Road, as they look to keep the pressure on Championship league-leaders West Brom.
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It’s good to hear Bielsa reiterating his views on the matter, which has taken the shine off of some good performances on the pitch in recent weeks.
Leeds will be hoping that they can put this off-the-field issue behind them at the earliest of opportunities, and let their football on the pitch doing the talking as they look to win promotion into the Premier League.
I’m pleased that Bielsa has offered his support to Leko, as I don’t think it’s right to hear that the forward has already received abuse for reporting the issue in the first place.
Leeds should be able to cope without Casilla though, as Illan Meslier is a good enough replacement to fill the void between the posts for their next few league matches.