LONDON: Former Newcastle United midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has won his disability discrimination claim against his former club.
The Argentinian had alleged he was excluded from the Premier League side’s first team because of his diagnosis with testicular cancer in 2013.
Newcastle rejected the claim, saying the midfielder had simply been left out by several managers because they opted to pick other players.
Gutierrez, 32, brought an employment tribunal claim against north-east side Newcastle for disability discrimination, having accused the club of making sure he didn’t complete enough appearances to trigger a lucrative one-year contract extension worth up to £2 million.
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The tribunal panel said: “We concluded that the reason why the respondent [Newcastle] managed the claimant’s [Gutierrez’s] selection was because they no longer wanted him at the club because of his cancer.”
Gutierrez, currently with Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna, spent seven seasons playing for Newcastle after joining the club in 2008, and underwent an operation to remove a tumour in his left testicle in October 2013.
Gutierrez, a popular figure with Newcastle supporters, thanked fans for their backing and said he hoped the Magpies, currently in the bottom three, avoided relegation from the Premier League.
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“I am a Geordie [so] thanks [to] newcastle fans for your support,” he wrote on Twitter. “I hope we stay up. Come on The Toon. Once a Geordie, always a Geordie.”
A separate remedy hearing has now been scheduled to determine the extent of Gutierrez’s compensation.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2016.
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