Jonjo Shelvey has decided not to appeal his five-match ban and £100K fine after failing in his personal hearing of proving his innocence to the FA misconduct charge.
That means he will not play on Monday night against Sheffield Wednesday and will not be available for the four games after that.
However, the player still denies the charge and says he is innocent of the charge.
This is what Jonjo has said in a statement he has issued:
“I am very disappointed and frustrated with the outcome of the hearing. I strongly maintain that I did not use the offensive language that has been alleged,”
“Despite my strong disappointment, we think an appeal is very unlikely to change the panel’s decision on the case, so I have decided not to take that option.”
“Appealing the ban would also extend the period of uncertainty for the club and the team during such an important part of the season.”
“This would not be fair on my club, manager or teammates and I want to draw a line under this now so that I can return to help my team with our promotion challenge as soon as possible.”
Here are the five games he will now miss of the game through early February – they have Newcastle in bold type.
December 2016 Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday Mon 26 Dec 19:45 Newcastle v Nottingham Forest Fri 30 Dec 19:45 January 2017 Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle Mon 2 Jan 15:00 Birmingham City v Newcastle Sat 7 Jan 15:00 - FA Cup Brentford v Newcastle Mon 16 Jan 19:45 Newcastle v Rotherham United Sat 21 Jan 15:00 Brighton v Newcastle Sat 28 Jan 15:00 February 2017 Newcastle v QPR Wed 1 Feb 19:45 Newcastle v Derby County Sat 4 Feb 15:00
Let’s face it there was very little chance with a charge like this that the FA would ever overturn the punishment on appeal.
The FA are coming down very hard on anything racial in the game of football, so the chances of success for Jonjo were close to zero.
It’s much better to accept the charge and serve the ban and get it over with – he returns for the game at home against Rotherham United on 21st January.
We’ll just have to wait and see how the team does without the creativity of Jonjo Shelvey.
But this is a savvy decision by Jonjo.