Derby County will be without midfielder Bradley Johnson for the next month after video caught him biting Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen during Stoke’s 2-1 win in Championship play on Wednesday.
In the aftermath of Oghenekaro Etebo’s 33rd minute red card, Johnson clearly bit Allen in the shoulder/neck area during an on-field scrum. The referee did not see the incident, allowing the FA disciplinary committee to issue the four-match ban. All in all, Johnson will miss the next five matches, having earned a yellow card accumulation ban on Wednesday, having been cautioned for further participation in the 33rd minute scrum. That will keep him out until the December 29th match against Bolton.
The usual ban for violent conduct is three matches, the standard for a direct red card, whether it be for a violent foul during the course of play or outside it. However, the FA said Johnson had been “found to have committed an act of violent conduct for which the standard punishment would be clearly insufficient,” leading to the four-match punishment.
In an unusual turn, despite the FA handing down the punishment, Allen came out after the match to defend his alleged aggressor, saying, “it might look a certain way but he hasn’t bit me.” He didn’t think Johnson should be banned at all, saying, “he might have got a little bit of the shirt but nothing that I’m worried about and I don’t think it should go any further that that.”
Derby narrowly missed out on promotion yet again last season, falling to eventual champions Fulham in the playoff semifinals. They’re in the mix for a playoff spot again this season, sitting seventh with 31 points. Johnson has been a key player for the Rams this year, but recently lost his starting spot. He started eight of Derby’s first 12 matches, but the Stoke match was his first start in the last seven.
The U.S. knocked off El Salvador, 2-0, on Wednesday night, but it was the malice committed by the losers that proved to be so disappointing to watch.
Americans Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez were each bit by El Salvadoran players during the match, with both incidents going unnoticed during live action by the referees.
Henry Romero was given a six-match international ban, while Darwin Ceren of the San Jose Earthquakes was handed a three-match suspension for his role.
According to CONCACAF, the duo will only have to sit out “official matches,” and with El Salvador out of the running for qualification into next summer’s World Cup, the Central Americans will have some down time.
Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).
The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…
“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”
We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.
Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.
Below is more information from the FA, as Doukara will now miss eight of Leeds’ remaining nine games of the season in England’s second-tier.
“The breach of FA Rule E3, which the player denied at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Wednesday [30 March 2016], was considered a non-standard case given the seriousness and both unusual and violent nature of the misconduct.”
If you look at the video clip below you can see Doukara and Amorebieta wrestling around the penalty spot and the Leeds United striker then puts his head towards the Fulham man.
It is likely the FA had a much clearer video of the incident and strong personal accounts of the bite, but this video and a few photos is all we have to go on.
Hard to imagine it “didn’t” happen a second time, especially given the video, though from the looks of it Henry wasn’t ghosting past his attacker like Giorgio Chiellini. There’s an argument to be made the Stevenage man put his hand in Labadie’s mouth — as if to goad a known biter? — but that shouldn’t matter, we suppose.