Dembele hit with six-match ban after clash with Costa
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele has been banned for six matches after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct.
Dembele (below) appeared to claw his fingers down Diego Costa's cheek during Spurs' 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Monday. The Belgian had until 6pm on Thursday to respond but he did not contest the charge, head coach Mauricio Pochettino said yesterday. And the full extent of Dembele's sanction followed.
A statement from the FA read: "Mousa Dembele will serve a six-match suspension with immediate effect after he committed an act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video."
The FA, when charging Dembele, had said it considered the incident to be serious enough that "the standard punishment of three matches would be clearly insufficient".
Dembele will miss Spurs' remaining matches this season - at home to Southampton tomorrow and at Newcastle a week later - and the first four fixtures of next term.
The midfielder's clash with Costa was one of several ugly exchanges during the game at Stamford Bridge and both clubs have been charged by the FA for failing to control their players.
They have until Monday at 6pm to respond. The draw resulted in the Premier League being won by Leicester - who will receive the trophy today - with Pochettino's side now battling Arsenal for second place.