The English Football Association has charged the chairman of Wigan for making controversial comments about Jewish and Chinese people in a newspaper interview.
The FA says that Dave Whelan’s remarks “were abusive and/or insulting and/or constitute improper conduct and/or bring the game into disrepute.”
The governing body says it is an “aggravated breach” of FA rules because it referred to “ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.”
Whelan made the comments to The Guardian newspaper while defending his decision to hire Malky Mackay as the second-tier club’s manager, even though Mackay is under investigation for sending racist and anti-Semitic text messages.
Whelan later apologized for causing offence and said he had been misquoted as using the word “chink” to describe a Chinese person and saying that “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else”.
He also said he would quit his position if found guilty by the FA. He has until Dec. 5 to respond to the charge.
Last week the FA issued a statement saying it was “very concerned” about the remarks and had written to Whelan, giving him three days to respond before deciding what action to take. At the time, the 77-year-old now says he will quit if he is charged with racism.
“Should they even suggest I’m guilty I would immediately resign,” Whelan told ITV News. “I’m absolutely anti-racist, always have been, always will be”.
The Wigan chairman had been speaking to the newspaper to defend his appointment of former Cardiff City boss Mackay, who is under FA investigation for sending allegedly sexist, racist and homophobic texts when in charge at the Welsh club.
It is Mackay’s first job since leaving Cardiff under a cloud last year following a falling-out with club owner Vincent Tan.
Malaysian businessman Tan has labeled both Whelan and Mackay as racists following the Wigan owner’s remarks, and said the club would regret hiring the manager.