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Friday, April 9, 1999 Published at 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK

Sport: Football

Fowler given six-match ban

Fowler's 'celebration' against Everton earned him a four-match ban

Liverpool's Robbie Fowler has received a six-match ban from the Football Association after his clash with Chelsea's Graeme Le Saux and his controversial goal celebration against Everton.

Fowler's lawyer Kevin Dooley issues a statement (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Fowler was given a two-game ban for the incident with Le Saux and a further four for his goal celebration in the Merseyside derby that was thought to mimic taking cocaine after a hearing in Birmingham.

[ image:  ]
Fowler was also fined £32,000 plus costs for his actions while Le Saux was given a one-match ban plus a £5000 fine. The bans will take effect from April 24.

Liverpool say they intend to appeal the decision, while Chelsea have yet to comment.

The FA's interim executive director David Davies delivered a lengthy statement at the conclusion of the hearing.

"An FA Commission has spent more than five hours considering charges against Graeme Le Saux and Robbie Fowler following the Chelsea-Liverpool game on February 27 and against Robbie Fowler alone in connection with last Saturday's Merseyside derby match.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Pat Murphy reports from Birmingham
"The latter case was considered today at the request of Liverpool. The players both admitted the misconduct charges against them.

"The Commission's view was that Graeme Le Saux should be suspended for one match from April 24.


"They couldn't and wouldn't condone a violent action by any player in any circumstances. They did accept that Graeme Le Saux had been subjected to considerable provocation.

[ image: Graeme Le Saux was given a one-match ban]
Graeme Le Saux was given a one-match ban
"Robbie Fowler was suspended for two matches in connection with the Stamford Bridge incident and for four matches for what happened last Saturday.

"The Commission believes highly paid international players are role models. They are also human beings whose behaviour sometimes falls below the standards expected of them.

"But mutual respect for each other is the absolute minimum requirement. The FA has an anti-discrimination policy and a commitment to fight drugs abuse which are well known and highly regarded."

High tension

The FA charged both England internationals with misconduct following their bust-up on February 27, after reviewing video evidence of the incidents.

Mark Lawrenson speaks to BBC Radio 5 Live's Jane Garvey
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.

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, that FA decided that both players deserved to be punished.

Not to be sniffed at

The Liverpool striker received the largest portion of his ban for his actions after scoring a penalty against Everton.

Whilst celebrating his goal he pretended to sniff the white line of the penalty area in response to taunts from some Everton fans who have accused the player of taking drugs.

The stiff suspension from the FA means that Fowler will miss the last five games of this season and the first match of next year's Premiership campaign.

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