Belfast Telegraph

Brunt given one-match ban

West Brom midfielder Chris Brunt has been suspended for one-match and fined £8,000 after accepting a Football Association misconduct charge.

The 30-year-old had requested a personal hearing after being charged with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards a match official in or around the tunnel area after the final whistle following Albion's 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Aston Villa this month.

Brunt is banned with immediate effect and will miss Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Manchester City.

The Northern Ireland international faced the threat of a two-game ban and Albion's director of football administration Richard Garlick believes the punishment reflected the circumstances in which the game finished.

Villa fans invaded the pitch at the final whistle and had also run onto the surface while the game was still in play, with the invasions the subject of an FA investigation.

Referee Anthony Taylor had also sent off Albion's Claudio Yacob and Villa's Jack Grealish towards the end of the match.

"We had a fair hearing and feel the punishment is an acknowledgement by the Commission that this was an extraordinary case," said Garlick, after the Independent Regulatory Commission in London on Tuesday.

"It was a difficult end to the game for everyone and emotions were running high.

"I think Chris's disciplinary record, which has seen him issued with one red card in more than 400 appearances at the highest levels, was also rightly noted."

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