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Cisse and Evans banned for spitting


Jonny Evans, left, and Papiss Cisse, right, both face lengthy absences

Jonny Evans, left, and Papiss Cisse, right, both face lengthy absences

Jonny Evans, left, and Papiss Cisse, right, both face lengthy absences

Newcastle's Papiss Cisse and Manchester United's Jonny Evans will serve suspensions of seven matches and six matches respectively for spitting, the Football Association has announced.

The duo have been punished following an altercation between the pair during Wednesday's Barclays Premier League clash at St James' Park.

Striker Cisse accepted his FA charge on Thursday but defender Evans pleaded not guilty and his case was heard on Friday night.

The duo have now been handed lengthy suspensions, with Cisse's punishment one game higher than the standard tariff for spitting due to an elbowing offence earlier this season.

Cisse reacted angrily to Evans' 38th-minute challenge on him during the Red Devils' 1-0 win in midweek and television replays suggested both men had spat in the direction of the other as the confrontation degenerated.

The incidents were not seen by the match officials but caught on video and Evans and Cisse were charged after a panel of former elite referees unanimously agreed they both had cases to answer.

An FA statement on Saturday read: "Both players were charged in relation to an alleged breach of FA Rule E1[a] in that in or around the 38th minute of the fixture they spat at each other.

"Mr Cisse accepted the charge and his suspension consists of six matches, which is the standard penalty for this offence, with an additional one match as he has previously accepted a violent conduct charge this season.

"Mr Evans denied the charge but it was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Friday, resulting in a six-match suspension."

Both bans will begin with immediate effect, meaning Evans will miss Monday's FA Cup quarter-final clash with Arsenal.

The Northern Ireland international, whose claim he would never spit at a fellow professional was backed up by United manager Louis van Gaal, will also sit out the league games against Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester City, the FA Cup semi-final if United get there, and the trip to Chelsea if they do not.

Cisse, meanwhile, will be unavailable for the Magpies' league fixtures against Everton, Arsenal, Sunderland, Liverpool, Tottenham, Swansea and Leicester.

There will only be three games remaining when Newcastle's leading scorer, who issued a statement apologising for spitting, becomes available once again for West Brom's visit to Tyneside on May 9.

Cisse's ban was longer than six games due to an incident in December when he elbowed Everton's Seamus Coleman and was also caught out on video evidence.

PA Media