London: Leeds United defender Giuseppe Bellusci has had a misconduct charge for allegedly racially abusing Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome found not proven by an Independent Regulatory Commission, the Football Association said on Friday.
Bellusci, 25, was accused of using abusive and insulting words towards Jerome in a championship (second tier) game at Carrow Road on Oct. 21.
"It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an “Aggravated Breach” pursuant to Rule E3(2), as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race," the FA said on its website (www.thefa.com).
Ex-Italy under-21 international Bellusci, nicknamed `The Warrior` when he played for Catania, had denied the charge and requested a personal hearing.
Norwich said they were "deeply disappointed" at the verdict and fully supported Jerome "who genuinely believed he was on the receiving end of unacceptable language on the field of play...".
Jerome told the club website (www.canaries.co.uk): "I`m glad the commission has said that they believe I truthfully reported what I genuinely believe I heard.
"I`ll always continue to report anything unacceptable I hear said to me on or off the pitch and I`d certainly encourage any other players in a similar situation to do so as well.
"We must stand up together to eradicate these problems from our game and our society."
The FA acted after receiving referee Mark Clattenburg`s match report on the incident which led him to stop the game midway through the first half having received a complaint from Jerome after words were exchanged with Bellusci.
Clattenburg spoke to both managers on the touchline before lecturing the Italian defender. Moments later Jerome was booked for a foul on the Leeds player.