Big blow for Everton as midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been suspended for three matches after accepting a charge of violent conduct for his clash with Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross.
The Football Association brought the charge retrospectively after reviewing footage of Everton’s 1-1 draw with Stoke in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.
Fellaini will now miss Everton’s Christmas fixtures against West Ham, Wigan and Chelsea and will not be available again until the trip to Newcastle on January 2.
Fellaini has been unmarkable at times this season and Everton will really miss him during the busy holiday season. The Belgium international has scored eight goals and been the driving force of a team currently fifth in the table and pushing for a Champions League place.
The FA’s statement read:
“The FA has charged Everton’s Marouane Fellaini retrospectively with violent conduct following his side’s game at Stoke City on Saturday 15 December, 2012.
“The charge is in relation to an incident in the 59th minute involving Fellaini and Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross, which was not seen by the match officials, but caught on video.
“The referee confirmed that he saw two further incidents in the 71st and 91st minutes, also involving Fellaini and Shawcross, neither of which he deemed to be violent conduct.”
The suspension was not unexpected, especially after Fellaini had issued a statement after the game apologising for his actions.
“I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my team mates and to our fans at the game.
“There was a lot of pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn’t feel I was getting any protection from the officials.
“Nevertheless I know I shouldn’t have done what I did.
“I have also apologised to the manager and the staff. I have no excuses, I was disappointed with the way I was being treated and I lost my temper, which was unprofessional of me.”