Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri to appeal six match ban given for using racist language towards Mansfield Town's Krystian Pearce

Fernando Foriestieri during his court case in Mansfield.
Fernando Foriestieri during his court case in Mansfield.

Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri says he will appeal against his six match ban imposed for using racist language towards Mansfield Town's Krystian Pearce.

Forestieri was also fined £25,000 as a result of the incident which sparked a mass brawl in a pre-season game at the One Call Stadium last season.

In March, the 29-year-old was acquitted of racially aggravated harassment and using threatening words or behaviour following a court hearing

"I am devastated and disappointed with the decision of the regulatory commission," Forestieri, who denies using a racially offensive word towards Pearce, said in a statement issued by Sheffield Wednesday.

"Throughout that period of time, throughout both the criminal proceedings and the FA's disciplinary proceedings, I have consistently and strenuously denied the allegations that have been made against me.

"Whilst I was shocked and saddened to face criminal charges regarding this matter, I was equally happy to be found not guilty of those charges in March 2019 by the criminal court and considered that to be the end of a very distressing time. As I said at the time, I felt vindicated by the decision of the judge.

"To discover I would then have to face an FA charge was devastating. But I truly believed that these erroneous allegations would be dismissed and my good name upheld."

Forestieri added: "The decision goes against everything about the person I am and the person I was brought up to be.

"It is absolutely no comfort to me that, when charging me with misconduct, the FA were very clear that they did not consider me to be racist but instead believed that I had acted in the 'heat of the moment'."

The written reasons in relation to the case state that during Forestieri's criminal trial, the judge said he was "satisfied beyond any doubt" that Pearce "was of the view" he had been racially abused.

But as there was no corroborating evidence aside from Pearce's claim and Forestieri's denial, the judge had "to accept it is possible, albeit it is in my judgment unlikely, that Mr Pearce was mistaken," and he could not find Forestieri guilty.

However, the commission felt that while Forestieri was not guilty to the standard needed for a criminal conviction, there was enough evidence for them to find him in breach of their rules.