Dembele handed six-game ban for gouging
Published 07/05/2016 | 02:30
Tottenham Hotspur failed in an attempt get Mousa Dembélé off an extended ban as the FA yesterday handed the midfielder a six-game suspension for his attack on Chelsea striker Diego Costa.
The decision will disappoint Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, who has branded the rival managers and players who publicly supported Leicester City's title push unprofessional.
Dembélé and Spurs accepted the charge of violent conduct but challenged the FA's ruling that the clash with Costa during Monday's ill-tempered derby required a punishment greater than the standard three-game ban.
Spurs argued that Dembélé's action did not technically constitute an eye-gouge and felt his good disciplinary record should have been taken into consideration.
Pochettino also claimed that it was unfair for the Belgian to receive a punishment greater than that of a player who makes a dangerous tackle that could threaten an opponent's career.
Their protests fell on deaf ears, however, as the FA confirmed Dembélé would miss the final two games of this season and sit out the first four of next term.
Asked whether it was fair for Dembélé to receive a longer ban than a player who produced a leg-breaking challenge, Pochettino replied: "For me, it's not fair. But they are the rules It's true that in football sometimes the rules give out a different message.
"If you break someone's leg then it's only three games, but if you touch someone then it's six games."
Elsewhere, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger still intends to offer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a new contract despite both his disappointing season and a knee ligament injury that will rule him out of this summer's European Championship.
Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered his latest injury during training on Monday and, while Arsenal do not anticipate any need for surgery, he is not expected to resume training until the start of pre-season in July. (© Daily Telegraph, London)