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Leeds forward slapped with six-match ban for spitting at opponent during FA Cup tie

Samu Saiz was sent off during the final minutes of Leeds’ FA Cup defeat to Newport County yesterday.

The incident sparked a melee between both sets of players in injury time.
The incident sparked a melee between both sets of players in injury time.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

LEEDS UNITED FORWARD Samu Saiz has been handed a six-match ban after being charged with spitting at an opponent during his side’s FA Cup third round defeat to Newport County yesterday.

The 26-year-old Spaniard was sent off by referee Mike Dean during the closing stages of Sunday’s tie at Rodney Parade and has this morning been slapped with a suspension by the Football Association (FA).

TV cameras failed to pick up the incident which followed Newport’s injury-time winner, but it is believed Saiz spat in the direction of Robbie Willmott which sparked an angry reaction from the home players.

Saiz, signed from Huesca for a reported £3 million in the summer, had previously been accused of spitting by then Port Vale manager Michael Brown back in August, but was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing.

Through a statement on the Leeds United website, Saiz today apologised for his actions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to the players, staff and supporters of Leeds United for my behaviour in yesterday’s game at Newport County AFC.,” he said.

“I would also like to apologise to Newport County AFC and Robbie Willmott for my actions.

“I accept the punishment handed to me by The FA.

“My actions are inexcusable, I give my word to all those connected to Leeds United Football Club that I will learn from this situation and never repeat it.

“I am grateful for the support I receive from our fans and I understand that I am a role model to the next generation of Leeds supporters, I will ensure that my behaviour moving forward reflects that.”

Saiz, who has scored nine goals in the Championship this season, has the right to appeal the suspension but as it stands will be unavailable to play until 20 February.

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