Watford captain Troy Deeney has accepted his violent conduct charge and will serve a three-match ban with immediate effect.
Deeney was charged after a clash with Stoke City’s Joe Allen during Watford’s 1-0 home defeat on 28 October.
It is some years since I addressed the managers and match officials of the Premier League to outline what action would be taken when players placed their hands in the face of their opponents.
I was specific in outlining that when a player used his hands in the neck and face he was committing an act of violent conduct and would be dismissed.
Referees visited Premier League clubs to outline this clear criteria and how the law would be applied,
Michael Oliver, one of our top officials, did not have the view afforded TV viewers in the Watford v Stoke city game and cautioned (yellow carded) Deeney for adopting an aggressive attitude towards his opponent.
When he had the opportunity to review the film of the incident at the request of the Football Association and the incident was then viewed by a review panel made up of three former Premier League referees the player was charged.
The suspension sends out a clear message that players other than the goalkeeper must play with their feet and control any aggression and use of hands and arms.
Well done to the Football Association for taking prompt action.
We now await the results of the charge on both clubs for failing to control their players arising from the on-field mass confrontation.