Gaetan Bong wants Jay Rodriguez punished for 'racist' comments

Brighton defender Gaetan Bong has demanded the Premier League take action against Jay Rodriguez for racial abuse the West Bromwich Albion striker allegedly directed at him.

Shortly before the hour mark of West Brom's 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Brighton on Saturday, the pair could be seen exchanging words before Rodriguez held his nose.

After a discussion with referee Martin Atkinson no action was taken but Bong told SFR Sport that Rodriguez should face disciplinary measures for what was said.

"I didn't understand, I didn't understand," he said. "We were playing, we were all focused, and then there was tension, because it was an important game for both teams.

"I went in front of the player, I think he was a bit annoyed because I had blocked him a bit on the previous move. He said certain things, I won't repeat them because we're on TV and I think it's things that shouldn't be said. But it was racist in nature, and I took it badly.

"I turned round, and told the referee what he had said. Initially, the referee told me, 'Go back into your position.' When he said that, things started to heat up because I said to myself, 'No, there are things that we can't let slide.' I'm a man, a coloured man, it's [2018], and there are things that we can't let slide. I told the referee, we made a report, and I hope there will be a punishment...

"He made a reference to my skin colour, and then you can clearly see that he holds his nose, which was in relation to what he had said. I asked him to repeat what he had said, and I think when he repeated it, he realised what he had said.

"After that, he wanted to try and limit the damage, and I made it clear that no, what he said was racist, and I won't let it go, as simple as that.

"So I told the referee, I told him what he said and the gesture that he did too to accentuate the whole thing. At the end of the game he said he didn't want to say that, but you can't say that to a human being, and it certainly can't be said to a black man, especially with what is happening in the world, and everything that has happened over years and years.

"We're on a football pitch. It's incomprehensible coming from a fan, even though we know there are people in the stadium who do certain things. But coming from a player, who earns a good living, who's there to entertain, such a gesture has to be punished."

Brighton later confirmed in an official club statement that Bong has requested that The Football Association fully investigate his allegation against Rodriguez.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said, "Gaetan has the full support of everyone at the club through this process.

"The club will also assist The Football Association in their investigation, but at this stage we would prefer not to make any further comment until this process has concluded."