BBC Sport is reporting that Hull City winger George Boyd will serve an immediate three match suspension for spitting at Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The 28-year-old denied the charge but his appeal was rejected by a three man Football Association panel on Thursday.
The incident arose in the 68th minute of Hull City’s 2-0 loss to City at the KC Stadium when Boyd dribbled into the box and went down under Hart’s challenge. Believing Boyd dove in an attempt to draw a penalty, Hart reacted furiously, stepping to Boyd and pushing his forehead against the midfielder.
The City keeper was booked for his reactions but the key moment occurred during the angry exchange of insults when saliva flew out of Boyd’s mouth and in the direction of Hart. The incident was not seen by referee Lee Mason or his fellow officials but was caught on video making it eligible for review. The episode prompted an adamant response by Hull manager Steve Bruce, who after the match said: “George Boyd would not do that, not a chance – not deliberately, anyway. He is as honest as they come.”
It now appears the FA has concluded that the spit was, in fact, deliberate as Boyd is set to miss matches against West Brom, West Ham and Stoke.
While Boyd will undoubtedly feel hard done by the decision it appears Hart has escaped without further disciplinary action. Hart’s head-press on Boyd was astonishingly similar to the “headbutt” that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew dealt Hull midfielder David Meyler on March 1st. That incident prompted an independent regulatory commission to hand Pardew a three-game stadium ban, a four-match touchline suspension and a $99,060 (£60,000) fine.