Leeds United: FA sink teeth into Doukara with eight-match ban

Souleymane Doukara
Souleymane Doukara
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Leeds United are awaiting a written explanation from the Football Association after striker Souleymane Doukara was hit with an eight-match ban for biting Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta.

Leeds United are awaiting a written explanation from the Football Association after striker Souleymane Doukara was hit with an eight-match ban for biting Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta.

Leeds expressed disappointed at the punishment last night and left the door open to fight Doukara’s suspension by saying they were “unable to comment on this matter in any further detail until the full written judgement is released”.

Doukara’s season is all but over after an independent regulatory commission found him guilty of biting Amorebieta on the chest during a game between Leeds and Fulham at Elland Road in February.

The Frenchman was cited by the FA in the aftermath of that game but the charges against Doukara – formally dealt with at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday – were given no publicity until the governing body announced yesterday that he would be banned for eight games with immediate effect.

The FA, which has so far issued only a short statement about the incident, said that the severe nature of the punishment reflected “the seriousness and both unusual and violent nature of the misconduct”.

Doukara was also fined £5,000 and warned about his future conduct.

He will miss tomorrow’s game at Rotherham United and all but one of United’s last nine games of the Championship term.

Doukara and Amorebieta clashed in the 54th minute of a 1-1 draw in Leeds on February 23, coming together in United’s box as Fulham attacked towards Elland Road’s South Stand.

The incident went largely unnoticed at the time but video footage of the aftermath appears to show Amorebieta - Fulham’s experienced Venezuelan centre-back - complaining of pain in his chest as he lay on the ground.

Doukara was not booked by referee Kevin Wright but Amorebieta received a yellow card midway through the second half and was sent off by Wright for a second bookable offence in injury-time.

Leeds have limited their response to the ban but a statement published on the club’s website offered no criticism of Doukara and appeared to back the former Catania forward.

Doukara had denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to a breach of FA Rule E3.

United’s statement read: “The club is unable to comment on this matter in any further detail until the full written judgement is released.

“Suffice to say, however, the club is disappointed with the outcome and the length of the ban given to Souleymane Doukara.”

United may look to contest the ruling or the challenge the length of Doukara’s ban.

His suspension is one-game longer than the seven-match ban imposed on Luis Suarez for his first biting offence in Holland in 2010. In 2014, during his time at Liverpool, Suarez was suspended for 10 games by the FA after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

The FA’s punishment of Doukara has brought an abrupt halt to a campaign which came to life for him around Christmas.

The 24-year-old - a maligned figure in periods of his two-year career at Elland Road - ended a 12-month goal drought in January producing a flurry of four strikes in six games.

He has been a regular in United’s line-up during the second half of this season, starting all of their last 16 games.

Head coach Steve Evans was approached for comment last night but did not respond. Leeds United striker Souleymane Doukara has been banned for eight matches after being found guilty of biting Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta.

Doukara was hit with the suspension by the Football Association last night over an incident in the second half of a 1-1 draw between Leeds and Fulham at Elland Road on February 23.

The Frenchman was accused of biting Amorebieta in the 54th minute of that game and saw a charge of violent conduct upheld by an independent regulatory commission. Doukara had denied the claims against him and pleaded not guilty to a breach of FA Rule E3.

His ban will come into immediate effect, ruling him out of United’s trip to Rotherham United tomorrow and forcing him to miss all but one of Leeds’ nine remaining Championship games.

Doukara will return to contention for the club’s last fixture of the season at Preston North End on May 7. On top of his suspension, he was fined £5,000 and warned by the FA about his future conduct.

The governing body has not yet published the commission’s written judgement but in a short statement it said Doukara’s offence was “considered

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