FA charges Newcastle's Papiss Cisse and Manchester United's Jonny Evans

Manchester United player Jonny Evans looks on as Papiss Cisse of Newcastle appears to spit
Image: Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse: Appeared to spit at each another

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse and Manchester United defender Jonny Evans have been charged by the Football Association following the 'spitting' incident in Wednesday's game.

Television pictures appeared to show Evans spitting at Cisse as the Senegal international rose from the turf after the pair tussled for the ball with the game goalless.

Cisse stretched out to grab his rival in response and seemed to spit back in Evans' direction.

Cisse has since issued an apology for his part in proceedings, although Evans has denied spitting at his opponent and the FA has acted swiftly in charging the pair.

The charges relate to an alleged breach of FA Rule E1[a] in that in or around the 38th minute of the game the two players spat at each other,” read a statement on the FA’s official website.

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Jonny Evans says he did not spit at Papiss Cisse during Manchester United's game with Newcastle

“The incidents were not seen by the match officials but caught on video. Both players have until 6pm on Friday 6 March 2015 to respond to the charge.

“In Premier League matches, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees will be asked by The FA to review the footage independently of each other.

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“They will then advise what, if any action, they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time.

“For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. 

“In this instance, the decision by the panel was unanimous in respect of both players.”

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.
Jonny Evans

Northern Ireland international Evans has denied spitting at Cisse, while his manager Louis van Gaal has come to his defence.

"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,” said Evans.

"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."

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Louis van Gaal and John Carver refused to comment on the incident on Wednesday night

For his part, Cisse admitted he spat at Evans and apologised for his actions in a statement issued shortly after Evans’.

"I reacted to something I found very unpleasant. Sometimes it is hard not to react, particularly in the heat of the moment,” said Cisse.

“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."

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