Manchester United's Jonny Evans denies spitting charge after incident with Papiss Cisse
Last Updated: 07/03/15 10:28am
Manchester United defender has denied the spitting charge from the Football Association following the incident with Newcastle's Papiss Cisse.
Evans had until 6pm on Friday to reveal his intentions and his club announced the news on Twitter.
A hearing will take place on Friday night, with the outcome being announced on Saturday.
Evans and Cisse were involved in an incident five minutes before half-time in Wednesday's Premier League fixture between Newcastle and Manchester United at St James' Park.
Television pictures appeared to show the 27-year-old spitting at Cisse as the Senegal international rose from the turf after the pair tussled for the ball with the game goalless.
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
Cisse admitted the charge on Thursday and faces a seven-match ban having already been suspended for violent conduct earlier in the season.
It is perhaps understandable that Evans is protesting his innocenece as he faces a mandatory six-game ban - the first of them would be Monday night's FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal - if he is found guilty.
Evans and Cisse were charged after a panel of former elite referees unanimously agreed they both had cases to answer.
Northern Ireland international Evans has vehemently denied spitting at Cisse, while his manager Louis van Gaal also jumped to the defence of his centre-back by saying: "I cannot imagine that Jonny Evans could do something like that, and he’s also said that. I believe him."
Evans added on Thursday: "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."
Cisse apologised for his actions on Thursday and insisted he would learn from his mistake.
"I reacted to something I found very unpleasant. Sometimes it is hard not to react, particularly in the heat of the moment,” said the 29-year-old Magpies striker.
“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."