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  1. ITV Report

Fernando Forestieri 'not guilty' of racial abuse

Not guilty: Fernando Forestieri

Sheffield Wednesday striker Fernando Forestieri has been cleared of racial abuse after being accused of making comments to an opposition player

The 29-year-old appeared before Mansfield magistrates where he denied charges which arose from a pre-season friendly against Mansfield Town last year.

The game was described in court as 'anything but friendly', with Mansfield's captain Christian Pearce and Forestieri having 'something of a war of words' towards the end of the match

The court heard that during one of these exchanges, Pearce said he was convinced that he heard Forestieri insulting in Spanish and that in the middle of that sentence was the 'N' word.

The Argentinian denied the charge when he previously appeared at the court.

District judge Jonathan Taaffee said none of the witnesses, including the referee, heard the alleged incident therefore he had to base his judgment on what the two players were telling him and that both were 'credible witnesses'.

I have to accept that it is possible, albeit in my judgement unlikely, that Mr Pearce was mistaken and therefore I cannot be satisfied to a criminal standard that 'N' word was used and there I find Mr Forestieri not guilty.

– District judge Jonathan Taaffee