Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Bowyer accepts three-match ban

Lee Bowyer

Birmingham midfielder Lee Bowyer will be suspended for the next three matches after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct for a challenge on Arsenal's Bacary Sagna.

Referee Peter Walton confirmed to the FA that if he had seen the challenge he would have sent Bowyer off during Saturday's Premier League clash at St Andrew's.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish told the club's official website: "We accept the decision and will now have to move forward into the next three games without the services of Bowyer. We have got a good discipline record at this club and stress to the players every week how important discipline is."

Bowyer will now miss Tuesday's Barclays Premier League fixture at Blackpool, the FA Cup trip to Millwall on Saturday and next Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final, first leg at West Ham.

Television replays highlighted the incident - Bowyer standing on Sagna while the Arsenal player was grounded near the touchline - in the aftermath of Arsenal's 3-0 success.

Bowyer, 34, will be back for the derby clash with Aston Villa at St Andrew's on January 16.

Blues manager McLeish has already indicated he has no problems with trial by television, providing it focuses on all controversial incidents. He highlighted a late challenge by Gunners midfielder Samir Nasri on City captain Stephen Carr which did not come under the same sort of scrutiny from the cameras.

McLeish also praised the maturity shown by Bowyer during his three seasons with Blues after leaving Upton Park.

On hearing the news Bowyer had been suspended, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "Well the FA had a look at it and decided to charge him. I don't think I have any special comment to make on that.

"They judged him guilty and we have all to accept it."

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