Senior officials from Bristol City including club Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton and head coach Lee Johnson will be travelling to London today to fight the ban issued to striker Famara Diedhiou at the FA Headquarters.
The 25-year-old Senegalese international had a fine first season at Ashton Gate, scoring 14 times in 36 appearances across all competitions (31 starts) but he fell into bother with the FA when he was accused and subsequently charged with spitting in the home game against Birmingham City towards the end of the campaign.
Following his charge has was handed a ban of six games for the coming 2018/19 Championship campaign.
The Robins have been granted an audience with the FA for an appeal over the charge though and the aim will be to obviously prove his innocence as video evidence seen by the gaffer left him throwing his full weight behind the player and stating it was totally ‘inconclusive’.
Bristol Live have Johnson quoted as saying after the Cheltenham Town friendly.
“I think it’s important that we get him off it because he hasn’t done it, and it’s difficult – and obviously we can’t say too much – but I really hope that justice prevails.”
I fail to see why Johnson would go out on a limb and state categorically that the video evidence offers no conclusive evidence of a spit as he’s opening himself up in the process, and it begs the question, if there’s no conclusive proof and the FA’s own disciplinary panel have to be unanimous in their after game decisions without knowing how the rest of the panel have voted, exactly what has gone on here when it came to his charge?
Especially when you consider other incidents in the game that now get looked at post-match and ignored.