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Spat at the Cottage to cost £250k

last updated Monday 10th December 2001, 10:09 AM
Fulham are set to be charged by the Football Association for failing to control their players in their 2-0 Premiership win against Everton.

Jean Tigana's team were involved in violent scenes during the game at Craven Cottage on Saturday when winger Luis Boa Morte's challenge on Everton defender David Weir sparked a 20-man melee.

The Merseyside club are also set be charged by the FA with the same offence and both could be fined up to £250,000.

But there should be no charge for another incident, when a bottle was thrown at Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque from the visiting supporters' section.

The FA is only likely to ask for an explanation, and security may be tightened, as neither club has a record of serious crowd problems.

Referee Phil Dowd's match report will determine what action is pursued. It is expected to ask that video evidence be reviewed.

Dowd sent off Boa Morte and gave Weir his second caution for their parts in the incident. The Fulham player is facing a four-match ban as it was his second red card this season, but both clubs will appeal.

Dowd consulted his assistants but he decided only to penalise the players involved in the initial challenge.

Boa Morte, certainly, deserved no more than a yellow card but the scorer of a goal in each half for Fulham, striker Barry Hayles, admitted things boiled over.

He said: "I think Boa Morte made a late challenge and as he was trying to get up the Everton player kneed him in his face and that is when the boys jumped in trying to break it up.

"The referee said to me that Boa Morte bit Weir's leg. He did not do that and I think the club will appeal against his sending off."

Everton manager Walter Smith claimed his defender was innocent of any wrongdoing and his goalkeeper Steve Simonsen said he had to restrain Saha because he "looked like he was going to go berserk".
Source Evening Standard by Leo Spall
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