Leko glad Casilla racism incident is over but has had no apology from Leeds

West Brom winger Johnathan Leko admits he is happy to put the racist abuse suffered at the hands of Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla behind him, but says he has still not received any kind of apology from the Spaniard's club.

The incident occurred on September 28 of last year, while Leko was on loan at Charlton, but it took five months for the former Real Madrid shot-stopper to be hit with an eight-match ban.

At the time, Leko claimed that he was unsure if he would be “prepared to go through it all again” if a similar incident happened in the future, but he has since held productive talks with the PFA – even if Leeds have not yet reached out.

“I'm just glad it's over now,” the 21-year-old told Sky Sports. “At the time, I was annoyed how long it took to get dealt with. That probably made me feel bad because nobody was listening to me or taking me seriously.

“Now I've changed my stance and would tell people to report any incident. I had a meeting with the PFA and they say if it happens again, they can speed up the process and get people to help.

“I've had lots of support - especially from Charlton. I've had nothing from the Leeds United side. It surprises me a little bit as I thought I would get some sort of an apology, but I guess they have to back their player.

“It's done now and I want to move on. I don't want to talk it over with him. No - I don't want to do that.”

The coronavirus-enforced suspension of football has affected Leko less than other footballers as he continues to recover from an ACL injury sustained in December.

And while the DR Congo-born England youth international respects the actions of those unwilling to return to the pitch, he himself is raring to go when he returns to full fitness.

“I don't think it's impacted me,” Leko said. “I think I've dealt with it okay and I'm happy and trying to get fit for next season. I feel I'm mentally stronger than I've ever been. Especially with the injury, I feel like I can get through stuff a lot more easily.

“It came at the worst time. I was playing and Charlton were a good fit for me. It was a good learning experience for me. I really liked [manager] Lee Bowyer - he gave me a lot of opportunities.

“The recovery is going well so far and I'm ahead of schedule. It's been hard because I can't go into the training ground because of the pandemic, so I've been doing it on my own in the garage. Normally the physio is there to help you, but it has made me stronger.

“If I was fit, and the season was back, I would personally go back in. But I do understand those who wouldn't. Some have families and people at home they want to protect.

“I sympathise with them, but personally I would play. I've not been tested, but some of the players have.”