Senegalese international Striker Papiss Cisse of Newcastle United has been banned a total of seven games for spitting at Manchester United Jonny Evans in a match on March 4. The incident occurred at Sat James’ Park during Man United’s 1-0 win in the English Premier League contest. Television replays show Evans appearing to spit at Cisse following a hard tackle by the Northern Irish international. Cisse then retaliated by spitting at Evans and a bit of a melee then ensued.

Both players were charged by the English FA, but Evans denied spitting at Cisse and was given until March 6 to answer the charge. However, Cisse admitted to it and apologized for his actions, but was still handed the seven-game suspension. If Evans is found guilty he will receive a six-game ban. The usual punishment for spitting is six contests, but Cisse was handed an extra game because he was guilty of an elbowing infraction earlier in the season and suspended for it.

Man United is hoping to hang onto its slim lead for fourth place in the league table as the side attempts to reach the European Champions League competition next season. If the 27-year-old Evans receives a ban he will miss some important matches against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea. Anthony Taylor, who refereed the Newcastle vs Man United match didn’t book either Cisse or Evans following the spitting incident as he apparently failed to see it. In addition, the fourth official didn’t mention it in his report either.

Cisse was handed the ban after a panel of former officials convened and watched the video replay of the incident. The striker told the media, “I reacted to something I found very unpleasant. Sometimes it is hard not to react, particularly in the heat of the moment. I have always tried hard to be a positive role model, especially for our young fans, and yesterday I let you down. I hope children out there playing football for their clubs and schools this weekend will know better than to retaliate when they are angry.”

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