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Wigan condemned for hiring Mackay during probe

November 19, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Wigan was condemned by English football’s anti-discrimination organization for hiring Malky Mackay as its manager on Wednesday while he is still under investigation for offensive comments.

Since August, the English Football Association has been looking into a dossier from Mackay’s time as Cardiff manager, including text messages he acknowledged were “completely unacceptable, inappropriate.”

Details of exchanges with a colleague, which the League Managers Association said were “disrespectful of other cultures,” were leaked to the media as Mackay was on the verge of being hired by Crystal Palace.

That job fell through, and the FA announced it was investigating the Cardiff dossier. Despite no outcome yet from the FA investigation, Wigan handed Mackay a route back into football, 11 months after being fired by Cardiff.

Kick It Out, which tackles discrimination and racism in football, said Wigan has “disregarded the ongoing investigation being undertaken by the FA, and any potential punishment Mackay may face, by taking the decision to appoint him.”

The Kick It Out statement called on the FA to “move swiftly to let everybody know whether they agree with Wigan’s position or whether they will reinforce their own zero-tolerance stance on all such matters of equality and diversity.”

Mackay previously insisted in a television interview: “I am no racist, I am no sexist, I am no homophobe, and I am not anti-Semitic.”

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan had already acknowledged that “this appointment will draw criticism” but said he accepted Mackay’s apology.

″(Mackay) has paid for what he did in terms of the bad publicity he has received since, and will no doubt continue to suffer in the future,” Whelan said.

Whelan, who fired Uwe Rosler last week, wants Mackay to lead Wigan back into the Premier League after being relegated in 2013, insisting the manager is “an honorable man.”

“He is a committed family man with decent values and is a professional who has worked and thrived for over 20 years in the multicultural world of modern football,” Whelan said.


Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris

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