football’s powers-that-be should throw the book at Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse for spitting at an opponent, say South Tynesiders.
There was little sympathy for the Senegal international on the streets of South Shields after he accepted a Football Association charge of spitting at Manchester United defender Jonny Evans.
Spitting at someone is just not acceptable. Not only is it disgusting and disrespectful, but there is also a health hazard.Keith Dunn
The 29-year-old faces a possible seven-game ban for his part in the incident during the Red Devils’ 1-0 win at St James’s Park on Wednesday.
Evans, 27, has yet to respond to the FA after being charged, but he has denied deliberately spitting at Cisse.
Cisse had earlier issued a statement apologising for his actions.
After the striker accepted the charge, Magpies managing director Lee Charnley said: “Both ourselves and Papiss agree that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.
“When you do something wrong, you have to front up, admit your mistakes and accept the punishment.”
Keith Dunn, 57, a shop assistant at Supertech in Fowler Street, South Shields, said: “He should be banned, no question about it.
“Spitting at someone is just not acceptable. Not only is it disgusting and disrespectful, but there is also a health hazard.
“I’d have given him a really hefty fine and, probably, a three-match ban, but if he is convicted of a second spitting offence in the future, he should be banned from football altogether. No second chances.”
Danny Alexander, 18, a kitchen assistant at the Wouldhave pub in South Shields, was slightly more forgiving.
He said: “I don’t think I would regard it as the worst sort of offence.
“If you run at an opponent and strike them deliberately in the face, that would be worse.
“Then again, spitting should not go unpunished, and he should get a heavy fine.
“These things in football always get blown up by the media.”
“It’s just not civilised behaviour,” said retired television repair man John Maughan, 71, of Chichester, South Shields.
“It can’t be accepted, but I wouldn’t dwell too much on. It happened, and the authorities don’t need to go over it too much.”
South Shields shopper and retired gas fitter Stanley Hart, 81, said: “Spitting is such an insulting act, and anyone who spits at an opponent should receive a ban from the game.
“That might make them think twice about doing it in the future.
“It demonstrates a complete lack of respect.
“The problem is that these players are paid so much money, they lose that respect.
“Spitting was not part of football in the past, and they should clamp down on it.”
Retired miner Bruce Dickens, 67, of Midhurst Avenue, South Shields, said: “It’s a sending-off offence, although I know that the referee missed it on the night and the FA has acted retrospectively.
“It’s disgusting behaviour, and the law of the game should be enforced.”
South Tyneside College student Daniel Scott, 18, of Chichester, added: “You can’t excuse it, even in the heat of battle.”