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Unsworth worry as Niasse banned


By Carl Markham

Everton striker Oumar Niasse was hit with a two-match ban for diving yesterday as caretaker boss David Unsworth spoke about a "dangerous precedent" being set.

Niasse has become the first Premier League player to be hit with a retrospective suspension for simulation under the new law that kicked in this season, having had his appeal rejected by the Football Association.

The FA announced in a statement yesterday that Niasse's appeal had been unsuccessful, with the charge of 'Successful Deception of a Match Official' found proven following an independent regulatory commission hearing.

At a press conference yesterday before the FA's statement was released, Unsworth was asked if he thought it would set a dangerous precedent if Niasse did get banned.

"I think these people will be very busy if that's going to be the case. We don't want contact taken out of the game. Slowly but surely, piece by piece, it has started to come out of the game," he said. "But we do have to have experts who know what a foul is and those who don't know the game... It's a dangerous place and a dangerous precedent that could be set if decisions are given against you which are debatable."

With two Group E games to go, starting with tonight's visit of Serie A outfit Atalanta, rock-bottom Everton have already crashed out of the Europa League, but Unsworth has vowed to select a "strong" side for the contest.

The caretaker boss, in charge of his sixth game, said: "We are going to pick a team to win, a strong team that we feel is the right one. We will be respectful, to our fans. We put on the Everton shirt and we're fully respectful of that."

Everton vs Atalanta

Europa League Group E:

Goodison Park, Tonight, 8.05 pm

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