Wigan Owner Accepts FA Charge Over Racist Comments

Dave Whelan had said in an interview, 'Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else,' and later apologized.

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Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan, center, giving the thumbs up from the stands ahead of the Sky Bet Championship soccer match at the DW Stadium, Wigan, ENov. 22, 2014.Credit: AP

Dave Whelan, the chairman of English soccer club Wigan, has accepted a misconduct charge by the country's Football Association over anti-Chinese and anti-Semitic comments he made, the British media reported Monday.

The 77-year-old owner of the club came under fire after making the slurs during an interview with the Guardian about the appointment of Wigan's coach Malky Mackay.

At the time he defended Mackay's alleged sending of racist and sexist text messages by saying it was "nothing" call a Chinese person a "chink," according to The Mirror. He also said, "Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else."

Whelan apologized in an interview last month with Sky Sports, saying he would never insult a Jewish person, and that he would walk out of the club and the game if the FA would charge him.

"I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of Jewish friends," Whelan said. "I would never, ever upset any Jewish person because I hold them in the highest regard," he said, adding that he apologizes if he offended anyone.

Nonetheless, this week he requested a non-personal hearing over the charge that he violated the FA rule regarding "abusive and/or insulting and/or constitute improper conduct."