THE Football Association have branded the booing of Brighton defender Gaetan Bong by Burnley fans on Saturday as 'unacceptable'.

Bong was jeered throughout by a section of the Turf Moor crowd after he had accused former Claret Jay Rodriguez of racially abusing him when Albion played West Brom in January.

Rodriguez was charged by the FA but an Independent Regulatory Committee found the charge 'not proven' at a hearing.

After the game on Saturday Brighton boss Chris Hughton slammed the booing of his left-back as 'shameful', and the Football Association and anti-race campaigners Kick It Out have both criticised the treatment of the 30-year-old.

An FA statement said: "The FA considers the behaviour of some supporters on Saturday towards Gaetan Bong to be unacceptable.

"It needs repeating, following the recent disciplinary matter, that there was no suggestion by any party involved in that case that the player made a malicious or fabricated complaint. The FA was wholly satisfied that the complaint was made in absolute good faith.

"The FA takes all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and continues to encourage all participants who believe that they have been the subject of or witness to discriminatory abuse to report this through the appropriate channels."

A Kick It Out spokesman said: "Kick It Out is concerned at reports that Gaetan Bong was booed on Saturday for raising an alleged incident of racism with The Football Association.

"Kick It Out believes all allegations of discrimination must follow a fair and transparent process for all parties involved and the organisation accepts the ‘not proven’ ruling made by The FA, due to insufficient evidence.

"However, it is important to acknowledge that an allegation found 'not proven' does not mean that the complainant has lied or acted in bad faith."

Kick It Out have also confirmed that they have received a 'report of discrimination' from the match.

A Burnley Football Club spokesperson said: “Burnley Football Club prides itself on being an inclusive club.

“The club fully supports ‘Kick It Out’ and hosts a ‘Celebrating Diversity’ day each season in support of our commitment to this stance.

“The club maintains a zero-tolerance policy of discrimination of any kind and is absolutely committed to confronting and eliminating discrimination while promoting diversity; a commitment set out and evidenced through our submission to the Premier League Equality Standard.”