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Friday, April 9, 1999 Published at 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK

Ban threat for Fowler and Le Saux

Robbie Fowler: Continued controversy may put his England career at risk

Robbie Fowler and Graeme Le Saux face the possibility of bans when the Football Association meet to discuss their clash at Stamford Bridge on Friday.

PFA's Brendon Batson speaks about the incident (BBC Radio 5 Live)
The FA charged the England internationals with misconduct following their bust-up on February 27 after reviewing video evidence of the incidents.

Le Saux was seen to strike Fowler with an elbow to the back of the head after becoming enraged at the striker's provocative gesture towards him amid alleged taunts about his sexuality.

[ image: Graeme Le Saux: Likely to receive a ban]
Graeme Le Saux: Likely to receive a ban
The Chelsea full-back apologised for his actions after the incident and the Liverpool forward also expressed his regret, despite insisting that Le Saux had misinterpreted his gestures.

But although they shook hands on joining up with the England squad last month and made peace in front of national boss Kevin Keegan, it is not expected that either player will appear at the other's misconduct hearing.

Le Saux, who appears first, can reasonably expect to receive a ban, possibly for three matches - the automatic punishment if the match officials had spotted his actions and sent him off for violent conduct on the day.

That would have serious implications for Chelsea's title challenge, although the Blues do have cover for him in the shape of Celestine Babayaro.

Fowler, meanwhile, is likely to argue that he was not casting slurs on Le Saux's sexuality - with his defence governing whether he is cleared, banned or fined.

The Liverpool striker was, earlier this week, charged with a second count of misconduct following his controversial goal celebrations last weekend, when he pretended to sniff the white line of the penalty area in response to taunts from Everton fans.

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