02 May Chris Hughton happy with FA for condemning Burnley fans who jeered Gaetan Bong
Brighton manager Chris Hughton has lauded the Football Association for condemning the Burnley fans who booed Gaetan Bong.
Bong accused Jay Rodriguez, the former Burnley player who is now with West Brom, of racial abuse during a match in January.
That charge was not proven by the FA, but said it was “made in absolute good faith”.
Bong, however, was jeered at Turf Moor last Saturday and subjected to chants, with Hughton describing the actions of some of the Burnley supporters as “shameful”.
“The FA considers the behaviour of some supporters towards Gaetan Bong to be unacceptable,” the governing body said in a statement earlier this week.
“It needs repeating, following the recent disciplinary matter, that there was no suggestion by any party involved in that case that the player made a malicious or fabricated complaint.”
Speaking ahead of Brighton’s Premier League match against Manchester United on Friday, Hughton added: “The FA have been excellent right throughout the process. Our communication with them has been excellent.”
Asked if Bong had been affected by the boos, Hughton said: “He is a very strong character and that was shown by his performance at the weekend.
“We have gone through a fairly long process with Gaetan, and certainly what he wants to do now is very much get on with playing football.
“All of my thoughts and efforts are very much into the next game because, at the moment, getting points against United is the most important thing.”
The Seagulls host United knowing that a victory against Jose Mourinho’s side will ensure their status in the Premier League next season.
Brighton are five points clear of the drop zone with only three games remaining, but play United at home before trips to Manchester City and Liverpool.
Hughton’s side appeared to have done enough to comfortably avoid relegation after beating Arsenal in March but they have secured only two points from a possible 18 since then.
“It is frustrating because we have been in a similar position for a while now and we have had opportunities,” Hughton added.
“We are, however, on the back of a couple of decent points at home to Tottenham and away to Burnley.
“What it has done is keep everybody on their toes and our attitude has to be that we still need points to make sure we stay up.”