Leeds United turned their fire on the Football Association after a one-match ban ruled Pontus Jansson out of tonight's game against Ipswich Town.
The defender will miss the clash at Elland Road having been punished with a suspension and a £1,000 fine for swearing and accusing referee Jeremy Simpson of "robbery" at the end of Leeds' 1-1 draw with Brentford on October 6.
Jansson, who travelled to Sweden over the weekend to be present at the birth of his daughter, was flying back to England yesterday to make himself available for the meeting with Ipswich and learned of his ban while he was in the air.
Leeds reacted to the FA's decision with a pointed statement, publishing details of the mitigation they submitted ahead of Jansson's disciplinary hearing and claiming "a warning or a fine would have been a fairer outcome."
The club also vowed to review their post-match interview procedures in light of the Sweden international's suspension.
An irate Jansson spoke to Sky Sports on the pitch immediately after the final whistle against Brentford and admitted the result “feels s**t”.
He refused to tone down his language, saying: “I don't care. This was a robbery from the referee so it feels bad. Do you think it should be happy? No chance.”
Simpson was widely criticised for a performance in which he awarded Brentford a contentious penalty and failed to send off Moses Odubajo for a similar foul to one which earned United right-back Luke Ayling a late red card.
The FA, however, took a dim view of Jansson’s comments and cited him last week. He was been issued with a one-match ban and a £1,000 fine yesterday evening, ruling him out of Ipswich’s visit to Elland Road.
Jansson was expected to drop out of Marcelo Bielsa’s line-up tonight regardless having been absent from training in the lead up to the game.
A statement from the FA read: “Leeds United’s Pontus Jansson has been suspended for one match with immediate effect and fined £1,000 following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.
“The player admitted an FA charge that his comments in a post-match interview after the game against Brentford on October 6 were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute."
In response, Leeds said: “Leeds United accept the one-match ban issued to Pontus Jansson following our game with Brentford, purely due to the fact that the club see no value in making an appeal.
"All parties agree that the language used by Pontus in his flash interview after the game was inappropriate. However, we also feel a warning or a fine would have been a fairer outcome, especially given the mitigating circumstances which we outlined to the FA in a letter following the charge."
United went on to describe Jansson's outburst as "uncharacteristic" and said he had been under "unusual pressure" with his wife abroad in Sweden awaiting the arrival of their first child.
Jansson later tweeted: "Sorry if I done something wrong or if anyone took my words wrong. Only thing I wanted when I left my daughter was to play and help my team but unfortunately not."
Bielsa refrained from criticising Simpson at the end of the draw with Brentford and admitted last week that he did not approve of Jansson’s remarks.
"I would have preferred that Pontus didn't say that because actually the referee is a colleague of ours, of both teams,” Bielsa said. “His task is very difficult and if we understand the role of the referee we will help him.
“The role of us on the bench allows us to have more serenity than the players on the pitch but I think if Pontus had time to think about it he wouldn't have said the same thing.
“I understand also when players make many efforts on the pitch and feel that the treatment they receive isn’t fair. This is the opinion of a 63-year-old man who is not on the pitch.”
Jansson’s interview was one of several incidents which attracted the attention of the FA’s disciplinary department and the governing body is continuing to investigate the missiles which were thrown by the crowd at Brentford’s Neal Maupay after he converted a penalty on 62 minutes.
Brentford winger Sergi Canos, meanwhile, escaped a ban for aiming a headbutt at Gjanni Alioski after a panel of three former match officials failed to agree that his actions constituted violent conduct.