Manchester United and Newcastle United have been hit with a player suspension each as Manchester’s Northern Irish defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle’s Senegal striker Papiss Cisse were both suspended for a spitting incident. The two sides met each other in a Premier League clash at St. James’ Park on March 4th with Man United’s Ashley Young scoring a late goal for a 1-0 win. However, the talking point of the game came earlier on after The 27-year-old Evans took the 29-year-old Cisse down with a hard tackle.
Bet365 lists Newcastle at 200/1 to be relegated this season with Manchester United 8/11 to finish in the top four and reach next season’s European Champions League tournament.
Television cameras caught the two spitting at each other and they will now have to sere lengthy bans. Evans has been hit with a six-game suspension while Cisse will sit out Newcastle’s next seven contests. FIFA’s punishment for spitting is typically six games, but Cisse was given an extra match since he was suspended earlier in the campaign for elbowing an opponent. The referee didn’t see the incident between Evans and Cisse, but a three-person panel reviewed video evidence of it and handed out the punishment.
Cisse admitted to his actions shortly after the game and apologized for them while Evans denied spitting at Cisse to the English FA. Evans told the media, “I did not spit at Papiss Cisse. I was totally unaware of any spitting incident and had assumed that the issue at the time was with the challenge and his attempted retaliation to the tackle from the floor. Papiss Cisse and I spoke about the incident and it is clear by my reaction in the television footage that I was totally surprised by any suggestion of spitting. It is not in my character or in my nature to spit at anybody, nor is it something I have ever done or would ever do.”
The FA didn’t agree with Evans though and released a statement on March 6 which said, “Mr Evans denied the charge but it was found proven.” This means Evans will now miss some crucial games for Manchester over the next few weeks as they try to hang onto fourth place in the Premier League. He’ll miss the FA Cup quarter final showdown against Arsenal on March 9 as well as league encounters with Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Fortunately for Manchester manager Louis van Gaal, he has other central defenders on hand such as Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, and Phil Jones, but an injury to any of them could cause a problem. Newcastle sits 11th place in the league with 35 points and are 13 ahead of the relegation zone. They will likely finish in mid-table and are fortunate enough to have a sizable lead over 18th-place Queens Park Rangers. Cisse is regarded as one of their top players and has 11 goals in 19 league games this year. He’ll miss games against Everton, Arsenal, Sunderland, Liverpool, Tottenham, Swansea, and Leicester.
Newcastle will miss Cisse more than Man United will miss Evans. It’s also possible that Newcastle could slide down the standings if somebody else doesn’t step up and start scoring some goals for them. Bet365 lists Newcastle at 200/1 to be relegated this season with Manchester United 8/11 to finish in the top four and reach next season’s European Champions League tournament.