Manchester United defender Johnny Evans has been handed a six game ban, following a spitting incident in the cluba s last match against Newcastle United on March 4th. The defender had pledged his innocence over the accusation but another independent FA panel rejected his appeal.

Evans was involved in an altercation with Magpies striker Papiss Cisse who has also received a six match ban as he retaliated by spitting back. The striker had accepted the ban when it was announced, but Evans was defiant and said that he was innocent.

The Northern Ireland international will now be forced to miss Uniteda s FA Cup clash with Arsenal, and several other key games including matches against Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea.

The FA announced the following on its website, “Newcastle Uniteda s Papiss Cisse and Manchester Uniteda s Jonny Evans will serve suspensions of seven-matches and six-matches respectively with immediate effect. This follows the Premier League game on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

“Both players were charged in relation to an alleged breach of FA Rule E1[a] in that in or around the 38th minute of the fixture they spat at each other.

“Mr Cisse accepted the charge and his suspension consists of six matches, which is the standard penalty for this offence, with an additional one match as he has previously accepted a violent conduct charge this season.

“Mr Evans denied the charge but it was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Friday [6 March], resulting in a six-match suspension.

“The incidents were not seen by the match officials but caught on video.”

Earlier, when Evans had learnt about the charge, he appeared shocked and had quite a lot to say about the ban.

“I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse. Having woken up this morning, I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night’s match.”

United manager Louis van Gaal and the club both issued statements and comments, backing the defender who has been brought through the cluba s youth system.

After the match, Van Gaal had said, “I don’t think Jonny Evans is a spitter. He was not aware he was spitting. He has said that also. I believe him. For me, the matter is done.”

While, the club issued a statement on its official website manutd.com, “Manchester Uniteda s Jonny Evans denies FA charge in relation to incident involving Papiss Cisse. Independent Regulatory Commission hearing tonight, decision expected tomorrow [Saturday].”