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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Eight charged after bust-up

Arsenal and six of their players - plus two from Manchester United - have been charged by the Football Association after the stormy Premiership clash at Old Trafford.

The FA has accused Arsenal of failing to control their players, and Gunners captain Patrick Vieira - who was sent off in the game - Martin Keown, Ashley Cole, Lauren, Ray Parlour and Jens Lehmann all face individual charges that could lead to suspensions.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been asked to explain why he suggested United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy cheated in order to get Vieira sent off.

And United duo Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo have also been charged for their part in the ill-tempered climax to the game.

The club demands high standards both on and off the field
Arsenal club statement
Arsenal, their players and those accused from United have 14 days to respond to the FA charges.

The Highbury club issued a statement: "The board is taking this matter seriously and intends to meet in the near future to further discuss the events of last Sunday.

"At this juncture, we do not have the video evidence supplied to the FA and are not going to jump to any premature conclusions.

"The club demands high standards both on and off the field and the board believes these were not met last Sunday. Arsene Wenger has already addressed the players on this issue."

United also set out their position in a statement that read: "We have received the details of the charges from the FA and we are currently reviewing them internally with our lawyers, the manager and the players involved.

"Until that review is completed the club will make no further comment."


The charges in full:

  • Arsenal: Charged with "failing to ensure the proper behaviour of their players".

  • Lauren: Two counts of violent behaviour for "kicking out at Quinton Fortune following the penalty award and for forcibly pushing Ruud van Nistelrooy in the back following the final whistle". Two counts of improper conduct for "confronting van Nistelrooy after Patrick Vieira's sending-off, and for confronting Ryan Giggs after the final whistle".

  • Keown: One charge of violent behaviour "for striking van Nistelrooy on the back of the head following the final whistle". One charge of improper conduct for "confronting Van Nistelrooy following the penalty miss".

  • Parlour: One charge of improper conduct for "confronting Van Nistelrooy after the final whistle". One charge of violent behaviour for "grabbing at Gary Neville from behind shortly afterwards".

  • Cole: One charge of improper conduct for "his involvement in a confrontation with Cristiano Ronaldo after the final whistle".

  • Lehmann: One charge of improper conduct for "confronting referee Steve Bennett after Patrick Vieira's second yellow card and for then persistently seeking to confront Van Nistelrooy".

  • Vieira: One charge of improper conduct for "failing to leave the field of play following his sending-off, and for instead seeking to confront Van Nistelrooy and engaging in a verbal exchange with fourth official Neale Barry".

  • Giggs: One charge of improper conduct for "his involvement in a confrontation with Lauren after the match had ended".

  • Ronaldo: One charge of improper conduct for "confronting Martin Keown at the conclusion of the match".

    Phil Neville has, meanwhile, been warned as to his future conduct after a confrontation with Lauren, but his brother Gary and Manchester United as a club are not being charged by the FA.

    Arsenal, however, could now face a suspension crisis, with Lauren facing four separate counts, including two of violent behaviour, the same serious charge which is faced by Keown and Parlour.




  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Davis
    "The players got caught up in the heat of the moment"


    PFA chief Gordon Taylor
    "It's all about collective responsibility"



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    SEE ALSO
    Punishing players the proper way
    24 Sep 03  |  Football


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