Leeds United’s Liam Cooper faces four-game ban after stamping charge

Liam Cooper faces an FA charge.
Liam Cooper faces an FA charge.
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Leeds United defender Liam Cooper has been charged by the Football Association with stamping on Reece Oxford in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Reading.

Cooper is looking at a long suspension after being cited by the FA over a second-half incident at the Madejski Stadium.

With my opinion of Liam, it’ll definitely be an accident and one that he didn’t mean to do. He’s 100 per cent not like that.

Garry Monk

The centre-back caught Oxford in the face with a boot as the defender lay on the ground on the edge of his own box following a Leeds corner on 74 minutes.

Cooper went unpunished by referee Keith Stroud, who spoke with one of his assistants and took no action, but video evidence was referred to the FA’s disciplinary department and the governing body confirmed today that it had charged the 25-year-old with violent conduct.

Cooper, who has been preparing with Garry Monk’s squad for tonight’s Championship game at Brentford, is set to be hit with a ban which would rule him out of much of the run-in.

Standard charges of violent conduct carry a three-game suspension but a statement from the FA said the normal punishment was “clearly insufficient” for Cooper’s offence.

The statement read: “Liam Cooper has been charged with alleged violent conduct following the Leeds United versus Reading game on Saturday.

“The player was involved in an incident in or around the 74th minute which was not seen by the match officials at the time but caught on video.

“Furthermore, the FA has submitted a claim that the standard punishment that would otherwise apply for the misconduct committed by the Leeds defender is ‘clearly insufficient’.”

Bournemouth full-back Tyrone Mings was suspended for five games last month for a stamp on Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Leeds have seven matches of the regular Championship season remaining.

Cooper has been given until 6pm this evening to respond to the charge. It is not yet clear if he will be free to play against Brentford if he pleads guilty.

Monk spoke out in defence of Cooper on Saturday, saying: “I didn’t see it but I got told about it afterwards. You know as well as me that Liam’s 100 per cent not that type of lad. He’s not in any way that type of player.

“With my opinion of Liam, it’ll definitely be an accident and one that he didn’t mean to do. He’s 100 per cent not like that.”