Manchester United’s Johnny Evans and Newcastle Pappis Cissse to get life bans and spitting statue
In the Premier Lesgue match between Newscastle United and Manchester United, Johnny Evans and Pappis Cisse appeared to exchange bodily fluids. No, the players – one white, the other black – did not get off with each other to further please fans looking for evidence of moral enlightenment at the match. It seems that they spat at each other, and not in any way that can be construed as good for the game.
No-one has moved to claim the spitting was rooted in racism. And in the curent climate where racism is sought in a speck of dust, for that we must be thankful.
The referee missed the spitting.
But the papers didn’t. They wade in, telling their readers how long the Evans and Cisse could be banned for:
The Guardian says one-match, maybe:
The BBC looks to recent history: “Last season, George Boyd was given a three-match ban for spitting at Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart”.
The Daily Telegraph says: “Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse [are] facing six-match ban after spitting row in Newcastle v Manchester United clash.”
The Daily Mirror wants more: “Papiss Cisse apologises for Jonny Evans spitting storm as he faces SEVEN game ban.”
lan McInally: “If you get tackled and somebody injures you, I think you take it. If somebody spits on you, as a footballer player, that’s not happening … maybe six games isn’t enough. If you give them 10 games, they take the wrath of their football club.”
The Times: “Jonny Evans is not that kind of guy,” Paul Scholes, a former team-mate of the Ulsterman, said. “What Papiss Cissé did afterwards is unforgivable.”
Unforgivable. A life ban it is, then.
(Cisse has accepted a seven-match ban. Evans is holding out.)
Is any of it a big deal? Maybe spitting is as much a part of the game as the leg-breaking tackle, verbals, biting or the headbutt? Maybe one day they’ll just make a statue or fountain to spitting, like this tribute to Zinedine Zidane, whose World Cup final red-card earning butt was immortalised in bronze: