The apology was immediate but Alan Pardew's rush of blood on the sidelines is still likely to result in a ban.
The Newcastle manager could offer no reason as to why he had raised his hands to shove Stuart Burt, the referee's assistant, for not giving his side a throw-in. "I'm still embarrassed about what I did," he admitted. "I've never done anything like that before. I've apologised to him and I can't really do any more than that.
"It was a stupid moment. The linesman just happened to be standing right in front of me when I thought the ball was out. I gave him a little shove and, unfortunately, found myself in the stands.
"What can I do? I can't turn the clock back so I have to take my punishment."
The FA will read through the referee's report today before it makes a decision. Two years ago Arsène Wenger was given a one-game touchline ban and fined £8,000 for a similar offence at Sunderland.
This was a game Newcastle could have lost. Andre Villas-Boas's Tottenham struck the woodwork twice, through Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale, in a first half in which they were dominant. Demba Ba struck in the 54th minute with a fine goal, Pardew was sent to the stand for his shove on Burt (TV showed the ball had gone out of play) and when Spurs equalised through Defoe in the 76th minute, Villas-Boas sensed a happy return to English football. Then Hatem Ben Arfa won and converted a match-winning 80th-minute penalty.