NEWCASTLE United are facing up to life without Papiss Cisse – after he was banned for SEVEN games for spitting.
United’s leading scorer has admitted a Football Association charge relating to a clash with Man United’s Jonny Evans.
I hope children out there playing football will know better than to retaliate when they are angryPAPISS DEMBA CISSE
Cisse won’t be available until the club’s May 9 home game against West Bromwich Albion.
Evans, however, has denied he spat at Cisse, despite TV footage from Newcastle’s 1-0 defeat appearing to show him spitting in his direction, and Newcastle were surprised by Evans’s strident denial.
Pointedly, Lee Charnley, the club’s managing director, last night said he and Cisse were in agreement about the need to “front up and admit your mistakes”.
Charley said: “Both ourselves and Papiss agree that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.
“In life, when you do something wrong you have to front up, admit your mistakes and accept the punishment.
“Papiss was proactive this morning in making a full and heartfelt apology, which he did in advance of any notification from the FA regarding this charge.
“This was something he felt strongly about and we fully support him in quickly accepting the charge.”
Charnley added that Cisse – an active supporter of the Newcastle United Foundation – would undertake extra community work during his suspension.
A contrite Cisse had earlier apologised to the club, his team-mates and supporters, saying he reacted to something “very unpleasant”.
The FA’s punishment for spitting is a six-match ban and the 29-year-old knew he would get an extra game on top of that having served a three-game suspension earlier this season for elbowing Everton’s Seamus Coleman.
“I have apologies to make to a lot of people,” said 11-goal Cisse. “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 a positive role model, especially for our young fans and 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.”
Evans – who was also caught on TV appearing to spit at the turf near Emmanuel Riviere earlier in the match – bizarrely claimed he was “shocked” by the media coverage of the incident.
“Having woken up this morning, I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night’s match,” said the 27-year-old.
“I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse.”
Cisse’s extended absence leaves head coach John Carver short of options up front.
The Senegal international will miss the Wear-Tyne derby against Sunderland as well as fixtures against Everton, Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Swansea City and Leicester City.