Spit duo hit hard by FA
Evans banned for six games, Cisse out for seven, after an earlier elbow offence
SPIT SPAT: Jonny Evans (left) and Papiss Cisse (right) aiming their saliva at each other. PHOTO: REUTERS
Newcastle's Papiss Cisse and Manchester United's Jonny Evans will serve suspensions of seven matches and six matches respectively after their spitting episode, the Football Association has announced.
The duo have been punished following an altercation between the pair during Wednesday's 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 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 each other's direction 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 both had cases to answer.
An FA statement released yesterday 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 Tuesday morning's (Singapore time) 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, who had issued a statement to apologise, will be unavailable for the Magpies' league games against Everton, Arsenal, Sunderland, Liverpool, Tottenham, Swansea and Leicester.
There will only be three games left when Cisse becomes available again for West Brom's visit to Tyneside on May 9.
Cisse's ban was longer due to an incident last December when he elbowed Everton's Seamus Coleman and was also caught out on video evidence. - PA Sport.
By the numbers
3 By the time Papiss Cisse, Newcastle United's top scorer with 11 goals, finishes his seven-match suspension, the Magpies would only have three matches left - against West Brom (May 9, home), QPR (May 16, away) and West Ham (May 24, home).