One moment during Leeds United’s 2-1 win against Newcastle this evening sparked massive controversy, with Rodrigo accused of ‘spitting’ on Fabian Schar.
Schar was left on the floor after a challenge from Rodrigo, with the Leeds man clearly unhappy that the centre-back went down in the duel.
Footage shows Rodrigo crouching down and shouting something at Schar – undoubtedly some kind of unpleasant words – the defender than sprang to and went head-to-head with the attacker.
Rodrigo himself dropped to the floor, but the star was clearly seen laughing as he did so – perhaps mocking Schar for his reaction to the initial challenge that sparked the moment.
The Leeds man, who became the side’s club-record signing in the summer after a £30m switch from Valencia per the Guardian, saw himself accused of spitting.
We have to state that from the footage available, nothing can be seen leaving the Spain international’s mouth – neither does Schar wipe his face, something he’d surely do if he was spat on?
It appears as though Rodrigo’s teasing decision to kneel down and shout in Schar’s face has been woefully misinterpreted.
Considering how the allegations swept social media, the Athletic’s Phil Hay questioned both Steve Bruce and Marcelo Bielsa on the ‘spitting’ matter after the match, though it became clear it was a non-issue.
See what you think pic.twitter.com/5aXYtUjCsh
— Ryan Bailey (@RyanBai24412672) January 26, 2021
— Jack LUFC??? (@JackLUFC1919) January 26, 2021
Pictures from BT Sport.
Both Marcelo Bielsa and Steve Bruce were completely unaware of the allegations after the match:
Steve Bruce also says: “I can’t comment. I haven’t seen that at all.”
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) January 26, 2021
Here’s how some fans reacted to the moment, with this kind of uproar ultimately what caused Hay to question the manager’s on the incident:
No idea if Rodrigo spat on Schar or just said something to him but I think it needs properly investigated, reasons being spitting is bad anyway but in the middle of a global pandemic it’s needs heavily punished if so! #NUFC #NEWLEE
— Dave (@davepresents) January 26, 2021
But I don’t recall him pointing out him spitting on him? Surely if he did then Schar would of showed the ref spot on his face? Also Rodrigo should be a shamed of throwing himself on the ground like that… that is embarrassing
— Jordi Corrway (@Jordi_Corrway99) January 26, 2021
Go for a walk after the win and come back to see people talking about Rodrigo’s imaginary spitting. Whatever weird fetish #nufc fans have, please leave us out of it. Thanks x
— Chris McMenamy (@cmcmenamy95) January 26, 2021
No spitting. Rodrigo said something to Schar who was in the floor. Schar leapt up. Nothing in it for me.
— Jonathan Brook (@JonathanBrook84) January 26, 2021
Rodrigo v good tonight but don’t like this spitting rumour. Didn’t want us to play Saiz after he was spitting, though I never like Saiz attitude from day 1, right whinger
— david roberts (@davidro83728290) January 26, 2021
— Tomas Colleran (@Tomas3110) January 26, 2021
Do we thing theres anything in the Rodrigo spitting allegation by Schar? Personally I’d be very surprised Rodrigo seems a decent guy.
— BrettStorey (@BrettStorey73) January 26, 2021
When accusations like this crop up, we have to investigate them fully and see to it that the truth is being presented – and from the evidence available it seems there was no spitting from Rodrigo at all.