Patrice Evra has been banned for four matches and fined £15,000 after the FA found him guilty of improper conduct.
Defender to miss four games following Chelsea incident
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has been banned for four matches from 22nd December and fined £15,000 after the Football Association found him guilty of improper conduct.
The decision follows United's Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 26th April when Evra clashed with Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell during an on-pitch warm-down.
Chelsea were fined £25,000 after two charges of failing to ensure an employee conducted himself in an orderly fashion were proven.
However, an allegation that Bethell had 'engaged in racist conduct or language' was not proven.
"Manchester United notes the announcement from the FA and is disappointed with the decision and in particular considers the sanctions against Patrice Evra excessive," said a United statement.
"Manchester United and Patrice will consider all options once there has been an opportunity to digest the full reasons for the decision."
A statement on Chelsea's official website
said: "Chelsea would like to thank the Football Association for their decision that there was no racist element involved in the incident between Patrice Evra and Sam Bethell, a member of the Chelsea ground staff.
"Chelsea always strenuously denied the racist allegation and that position has been totally vindicated by the FA.
"Alleging racism is one of the most serious accusations that can be made in football. Chelsea has a zero-tolerance attitude towards racism and is fighting hard with the rest of football to rid all forms of discrimination from the game.
"Clearly, the incident was a regrettable one. We will be analysing the detail of the verdict before commenting further."
An FA statement read: "The regulatory commission found a charge of improper conduct against Patrice Evra proved on all four elements of the charge.
"The Commission found that his conduct during a warm-down session following the Chelsea v Manchester United, Premier League fixture on April 26 2008, was improper in that:
"a) Mr Evra pushed the Chelsea head groundsman with his chest (as was admitted by Mr Evra)
"b) He struck Mr Sam Bethell, a groundsman at Chelsea, on the side of his head
"c) He subsequently, ie after the previous incident had begun to calm down, ran back to confront Mr Bethell again (as was also admitted by Mr Evra)
"d) Then became involved in a further physical altercation with Mr Bethell.
"The Commission considered this was an incident of violent behaviour by Mr Evra which was therefore punished by a suspension for four first team matches as from Monday, December 22 and imposed a fine of £15,000 on Mr Evra.
"The Regulatory Commission found two charges against Chelsea both proved. On the first charge the Commission found that during the course of the same incidents connected with the warm-down by Manchester United players, Chelsea employee Mr Sam Bethell, had conducted himself in a disorderly fashion and that his conduct and language had been abusive and provocative.
"Charges against Mr Bethell had previously been dismissed on the ground that the FA had no jurisdiction over him personally. Chelsea were charged because they failed in their responsibility to ensure that their
employee Mr Bethell conducted himself in an orderly fashion and refrained from abusive and provocative conduct and language. The commission fined Chelsea £25,000 on this charge.
"An allegation that Mr Bethell had engaged in racist conduct or language was not proved. Accordingly, so far as the charge against Chelsea was based on its alleged responsibility for such racist conduct and language by Mr Bethell, the charge against the club was not proved.
"A second charge against Chelsea of failure to specify in Mr Bethell's contract of employment by the club that Mr Bethell was directly under the disciplinary control of the FA was upheld but the commission did not find it appropriate to impose any penalty on that charge.
"Mr Evra and Chelsea were each ordered to pay half the costs of the regulatory commission proceedings."