Giuseppe Bellusci: FA explains why Leeds defender cleared of racial abuse

Leeds defender Giuseppe Bellusci was cleared of racially abusing Cameron Jerome because he was threatening to give the Norwich striker "a black eye," the Football Association has said.

The Italian was charged following an incident in which he was alleged to have directed a racial insult at Jerome during the 1-1 draw between the teams at Carrow Road in October.

But an independent regulatory commission dropped the case at a personal hearing earlier this month after Bellusci denied the charge.

On Wednesday, the FA published a document outlining the reasons why the three-man commission had rejected the allegations. It said the "consistent evidence" put forward by Bellusci had led to him being cleared.

The 25-year-old was accused of calling Jerome a "negro," but the panel accepted his explanation that he said the word "nero," the Italian term for black, while threatening Jerome with a black eye.

The document read: "On the balance of probabilities, we find that Mr Bellusci used the word 'nero' once in the context that he claims, and that Mr Jerome misheard or misinterpreted what was said as 'negro'.

"Once that misapprehension was planted in his mind, Mr Jerome's reaction to it was entirely understandable. It inevitably set off an inquiry that was properly pursued and which culminated in this hearing."

It continued: "In arriving at our decision, the commission reiterates that we found Mr Jerome to be a truthful witness who honestly believed that he had been racially abused. He may well continue to do so.

"The commission further acknowledges the willingness of Mr Jerome to make fair and appropriate concessions, both in interview and in his oral evidence.

"We were satisfied that at all times he sought to assist the commission, but that he was mistaken in his hearing and understanding of what Mr Bellusci said to him."