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Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse charged by the FA

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Evans and Cisse needed to be kept apart by the referee
Evans and Cisse needed to be kept apart by the referee

The Football Association have charged both Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle's Papiss Cisse with misconduct following a spitting incident in Wednesday night's game at St James' Park.

Evans has issued a strong statement denying he spat at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse, but his rival in the clash has admitted he is guilty as charged in the incident and now the pair will face FA charges for the incident caught on TV cameras.

"I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse," stated Evans. "Having woken up this morning I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night's match.

"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.

"During the game, 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. It is certainly not something that I did last night."

In a separate statement, Cisse has also issued a statement and admits he did spit at Evans as he lost his self control in the heat of the battle.

"I have apologies to make to a lot of people today," said the Senegal striker. "Firstly to my teammates and to our supporters, secondly to Jonny Evans, and thirdly to every football fan who saw the incident between myself and Jonny.

"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. Perhaps when they see the problem it now causes me and my team they will be able to learn from my mistake, not copy it."

Cisse now looks certain to face a lengthy ban of up to six games for the spitting incident and Evans may now also be condemned to a spell on the sidelines unless he can convince the FA that his spit in Cisse's direction was accidental.