Football: Fowler given six-match suspension

ROBBIE FOWLER intends to appeal against the six-match suspension he was given by a Football Association disciplinary commission yesterday for both his "cocaine snorting" goal celebration during the Merseyside derby last weekend and his fracas with Graeme Le Saux last month.

The three-man panel, who met in Birmingham, ordered a four-match suspension for the Liverpool striker's goal celebrations against Everton, when he knelt with a finger to one side of his nose and pretended to snort the goalline. He was also given a record pounds 32,000 fine, which equates to a week's wages and matches the fine independently imposed by Liverpool.

In addition he picked up a two-game ban for his dispute with Le Saux during Liverpool's Premiership match at Chelsea. During those exchanges, Fowler wiggled his backside at the Chelsea defender and taunted him about his sexuality. Le Saux, who was also charged with misconduct after reacting by cuffing the Liverpool man on the back of the head, was banned for one match and fined pounds 5,000.

The suspensions are due to take effect from 24 April, but Fowler intends to contest his ban, which means it will be deferred. His legal representative, Kevin Dooley, said the appeal process had been put in motion.

"It is my view that I should express disappointment on behalf of the player about what I believe to be an unjust and disproportionate sentence. We will be appealing to the FA against what we believe is clearly an unjust sentence," Dooley said.

Neither Le Saux or Fowler, who were dealt with separately by a panel headed by the FA vice chairman, Barry Bright, would comment after the hearing which lasted five hours.

The FA's interim executive director, David Davies, delivered a lengthy statement in which he said both players had admitted misconduct, adding that Le Saux did not seek to justify what he had done in hitting Fowler.

"[Le Saux] didn't condone violence of any kind and suffered what he called a torrent of abuse from a fellow professional, the origins of which were totally untrue and long-standing allegations that he was gay," Davies said in the statement.

"For his part Robbie Fowler denied saying or doing anything that was intended to question the sexuality of Graeme Le Saux but on his behalf was accepted that he had acted inappropriately in his behaviour at Stamford Bridge.

"As far as last Saturday was concerned, he said his actions had been spontaneous and instinctive. He had only realised how stupid they were several hours later. He had suffered for several years in his home city of Liverpool from totally untrue and damaging allegations of drug-taking."

Fowler agreed this week to assist the Merseyside police with their anti- drugs programme, Davies said.

Explaining the size of the fine, the statement said that the panel considered highly paid internationals to be role models. "They are also human beings whose behaviour sometimes falls below the standards expected of them," the statement said. "But mutual respect for each other is the absolute minimum requirement. The FA has an anti-discrimination policy and a commitment to fight drugs abuse which are well known and highly regarded."

Liverpool's manager, Gerard Houllier, who initially dismissed Fowler's goal celebration as a joke, escaped punishment when the same panel ruled he had no case to answer over his criticism of Mike Reed for his refereeing of Liverpool's Premiership game with Charlton on 13 February.

The French contingent in English football could be expanded by the arrival of Zinedine Zidane next season. According to the Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport, the world player of the year will leave Juventus at the end of the season to join either Manchester United or a Spanish club. The paper claimed Manchester United had already made a bid for Zidane, whose contract with Juventus, United's European Cup semi-final opponents, expires in 2003. The Spanish clubs said to be seeking Zidane for next season are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

West Ham United is the latest club to express an interest in playing in the Intertoto Cup in the hope of qualifying for the Uefa Cup. Aston Villa also added their name yesterday to those of Leicester, Middlesbrough, Wimbledon, Southampton and Nottingham Forest, who all hope to win a place in Europe via the much-maligned competition.

Brighton have sacked their manager, Jeff Wood, after nine weeks in charge of the Third Division club. Brighton have lost nine of their last 10 games to slip into relegation trouble. Martin Hinshelwood, Brighton's long time coach under Barry Lloyd, takes charge of the team for today's match at Plymouth.

Otto Baric, a 65-year-old Croat, will become new coach of Austria's national team, the Austrian FA spokesman, Wolfgang Gramann, said. Baric replaces Herbert Prohaska, who stepped down after Austria's 9-0 drubbing by Spain last month, and his appointment ends the hopes of the former Switzerland and Blackburn coach Roy Hodgson of making a quick return to the international arena.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam