Thursday March 5th, 2015

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has accepted charges levied against him by the English FA Thursday for spitting at Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and could be suspended for seven games

Cisse and Evans were both charged for their roles in the incident, the organization announced Thursday. Evans has until Friday evening to respond to the charges.

The incident, which was not seen by referee but was caught by television cameras, occurred late in the first half. The game was scoreless until Ashley Young scored for Manchester United in the 89th minute. United went on to win, 1-0.

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Evans faces a six-game ban, while Cisse's ban would be one game longer because of another charge for violent conduct earlier this season.

Evans has denied that he spit at Cisse.

"Having woken up this morning I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night’s match," Evans said in a statement. "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.

"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."

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Before accepting the charges, Cisse apologized in a statement released earlier Thursday.

"I have apologies to make to a lot of people today," Cisse said in his statement. "Firstly to my teammates 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 a positive role model, especially for our young fans, and yesterday I let you down."

Cisse, who leads the team with eight Premier League goals, would miss all but three of Newcastle's remaining games.

- Phil Watson

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