Leeds United manager, Marcelo Bielsa, has defended his decision to make 33-year-old Kiko Casilla his captain despite the player serving an 8-match ban during 19/20 for racist comments.
“His team-mates think he deserves to be the captain and we have to listen to those messages,” Bielsa said. “The players see in their captain someone who they think can represent them.
“I respect the thoughts of any person. After that, opinions can be argued. Surely those who judge Kiko ignore a lot of things his team-mates see in him.
“Of course we also value the conduct of Kiko, which only we can judge because we are part of the group.
“When you are subject to what other people judge you for or think, it doesn’t matter what we think, we have to accept the decision of the authorities.
“It is also important that you may not know what percentage of the fanbase actually didn’t want Kiko as captain, because the opinion of the masses should always be heard.
“Surely the public won’t have all the information that his teammates will have.”
What happened with Kiko Casilla?
Back in March, 2020, Leeds’ goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was banned for eight games after being found guilty of using the N-word at Charlton striker, Jonathan Leko.
At the time, things were not going well for Leeds and Eddie Nketiah had been recalled from his loan due to Marcelo Bielsa’s refusal to give him more than a few minutes. With two goals for Arsenal not long after his return, Eddie was no doubt glad to be home, especially when he read what one of his former teammates has been up to.
The incident took place at the end of September, when Nketiah was still at Leeds, and he will no doubt have been made aware of the investigation which lasted five months.
An FA spokesman said: “Kiko Casilla has been suspended for eight matches with immediate effect, fined £60,000 and must attend face-to-face education after a breach of FA Rule E3(2) was found proven by an independent regulatory commission.
“The Leeds goalkeeper denied using abusive and/or insulting words, which were contrary to FA Rule E3(1) and constituted an “aggravated breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as they made reference to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin, towards a Charlton player on September 28, 2019.”
There is a mandatory six-game ban for those found guilty of on-field discrimination.