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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Van Nistelrooy accepts FA charge
Ruud van Nistelrooy has until Tuesday to respond to his FA charge
Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy has pleaded guilty to a charge of serious foul play.

The Football Association charge relates to his challenge on Arsenal's Ashley Cole, which has landed him a three-match ban after his admission.

Van Nistelrooy admitted: "I accept the charge brought by the FA and I take full responsibility."

His ban starts with immediate effect, meaning he was unavailable for Tuesday's Carling Cup game at Crewe.

The incident will still be reviewed by a three-man FA panel on Thursday, but their verdict appears academic as United have publicly stated they expect the striker to serve a three-match suspension.

He is also likely to miss Saturday's trip to Portsmouth and the game against Manchester City on 7 November.

Ruud van Nistelrooy has decided to accept the FA's charge of misconduct
Man Utd statement
Van Nistelrooy added: "Throughout my 10-year career I believe my disciplinary record is very good, not only for Manchester United but at all clubs."

Despite his admission, the Dutch international striker insisted there had been no malice in the tackle during Sunday's 2-0 win over Arsenal.

"There was no deliberate intent to harm Ashley Cole and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to him," he said.

It will be the first time in his career the player has served a club suspension.

A statement from United said: "Ruud van Nistelrooy has decided to accept the FA's charge of misconduct relating to the incident with Ashley Cole.

"Ruud has accepted the automatic penalty of a three-match suspension and Manchester United fully supports Ruud's decision."

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