Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has been handed a six game band for spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse after his appeal against the charge was rejected by the FA.
The incident occurred during the Red Devils' 1-0 win over Newcastle at St. James' Park on Wednesday. Evans appeared to spit at Cisse which prompted the Senegalese forward to react in the same fashion - although Evans issued a statement after the game denying any wrong-doing.
The pair were both charged by the FA over the clash, and Evans will now serve a six-game ban while Cisse will sit out seven games because of a red card earlier this season. Cisse issued a statement after the game apologising to fans over his role in the incident.
"Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse and Manchester United’s Jonny Evans will serve suspensions of seven matches and six matches respectively with immediate effect following their game on Wednesday 4 March 2015," the FA said in a statement.
It continued: "Mr Cisse accepted the charge and his suspension consists of six matches, which is the standard penalty for this offence, with an additional one match as he has previously accepted a violent conduct charge this season.
"Mr Evans denied the charge but it was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Friday [6 March 2015], resulting in a six-match suspension."
The six-game ban is the standard tariff for spitting offences, however some Manchester United fans may be aggrieved by the severity of the punishment in comparison to other, more serious offences. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez received an eight-game for racially abusing Patrice Evra, while the Uruguayan was given a ten-match suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Evans will now miss a key run of fixtures for Manchester United, starting with their FA Cup clash against Arsenal on Monday. He'll also sit out games against Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City as the Red Devils look to secure a top four finish.