Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse have been charged by the FA for the incident which appeared to involve both players spitting during Manchester United's 1-0 win over Newcastle last night.
United defender Evans today released a statement regarding the incident on United official website, denying that he had spat, while shortly after Cisse also released a statement in what appeared to be an admission of guilt.
Evans' statement read: "Having woken up this morning I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night’s match. I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse.
"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.
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"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 said in a statement on Newcastle's official website released soon after Evans's: "I have apologies to make to a lot of people today. Firstly to my team-mates 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 positive a 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."
Football's spitting controversies
Football's spitting controversies
1/10 Frank Rijkaard vs Rudi Voller, 1990
One of the most unsavoury moments in World Cup history, and perhaps football's most notorious spitting controversy of all. First, the Dutch legend followed up a strong tackle of the mulleted German striker with a subtle spit at his opponent - Voller was booked for his protestations. The pair were later embroiled in a fracas that led to both receiving their marching orders. Before leaving the pitch, Rijkaard aimed another, more substantial mouthful at Voller's inviting mane.
2/10 Patrick Vieira vs Neil Ruddock, 1999
Two of the Premier League era's most fearsome hard men had battled throughout a feisty encounter between Arsenal and West Ham until Vieira received his marching orders. Employing Frank Rijkaard's 'Well, I've been sent off already' logic, Viera spat at Razor, and earned himself a six-match ban.
3/10 El-Hadji Diouf vs Celtic fans, 2003
The first of two appearances on the list by the controversial Senegalese winger, Diouf was banned for two games and fined by both Glasgow Crown Court and his club Liverpool after spitting at a Celtic fan during their UEFA Cup quarter-final clash. Diouf would later sign for Rangers in a bid to further endear himself to the Parkhead faithful.
4/10 Francesco Totti vs Christian Poulsen, 2004
Totti has courted controversy throughout his illustrious career, never more so than when he was banned for three games after taking it upon himself to spit at sometime-Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen at Euro 2004. "The true Francesco Totti is not the one on the video," the Roma legend explained.
5/10 El-Hadji Diouf vs Arjan De Zeuuw, 2004
Diouf, showing a Louis Suarez-esque ability to learn from his own mistakes, was in in the dock again and earned a three-game ban after firing a mouth-missile towards Arjan de Zeeuw during Bolton's 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth. Afterwards, he admitted: "My behaviour showed a lack of moral responsibility to the public who support me and I'm deeply sorry."
6/10 Fabian Barthez vs Abdellah El Achiri (a referee), 2005
Barthez's crime is of particular note given that it occurred during a friendly, as Marseille met Morocco's WAC Casablanca. Despite having already been substituted, the goalkeeper took it upon himself to run onto the pitch, wade into a brawl and spit at the referee. "I’m not guilty because I didn’t spit at his face,” Barthez insisted. He was banned for six months.
7/10 John Terry vs Carlos Tevez, 2008
The 2008 Champions League final wasn't the best of nights for the Chelsea skipper. Not only did he miss the crucial penalty in the shoot-out that handed the trophy to Manchester United, he was also accused of wiping his nose before subtly transferring the contents onto Carlos Tevez's neck. Terry denied wrongdoing and escaped punishment with the evidence inconclusive.
8/10 Lionel Messi vs Duda, 2008
Proof that even the game's true superstars can occasionally lose their head, and control of their saliva. Messi took exception to a challenge from the Brazilian defender during Barcelona's victory over Malaga and was caught by TV cameras appearing to aim a sneaky spit at his opponent's back, but no action was taken.
9/10 Cristiano Ronaldo vs Robbie Savage, 2009
The Portuguese superstar was by no means the first to be riled by Robbie Savage when the pair tussled during Manchester United's 4-1 FA Cup victory over Derby. Photos seemed to show Ronaldo aiming some phlegm in the direction of the Welshman during the incident, but Savage graciously insisted that "nothing happened" and his opponent was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Manchester United/Getty Images
10/10 George Boyd vs Joe Hart, 2014
Hull's clash with Manchester City was already an ill-tempered affair before Joe Hart took exception to how George Boyd went down under the goalkeeper's challenge. As the pair squared up, Boyd appeared to spit as he delivered a (verbal) mouthful into his opponents' face. "He wouldn't do that, no chance," insisted Hull manager Steve Bruce. The FA disagreed, and banned the Scottish midfielder for three games.
Neither player was booked at the time by referee Anthony Taylor.
After the match both managers said they missed the incident, however Louis van Gaal did say he didn't think Evans would be guilty.
"I don't think Jonny Evans is a spitter," said the United manager.
The pair have until 6pm tomorrow evening to respond to the charge.Reuse content