24 Oct Spurs accept Sissoko charge
Tottenham have accepted the Football Association’s violent conduct charge against Moussa Sissoko, expecting the France midfielder to receive a three-match ban.
Sissoko has been charged by the FA for his off-the-ball elbow of Bournemouth’s Harry Arter that was missed by officials in Saturday’s goalless Premier League draw at the Vitality Stadium.
The £30million summer signing from Newcastle should now be banned for Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie at Liverpool and Premier League matches against Leicester and bitter rivals Arsenal.
Spurs have until 1800 on Tuesday to respond, but manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed the club will not contest the charge – and refused to criticise the 27-year-old.
“We accept that. We have reviewed the video. We accept the charge and now we move forward,” said the Argentinian, whose side visit Liverpool in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
“After the game it was difficult when I was asked about the action.
“It was true that it was difficult for me to appreciate the situation of what happened.
“But when I saw it on TV I need to say there was no intention but the elbow was in the face of Arter, that’s clear.
“We accept the charge, and now we need to move forward, and expect a three-match ban.”
Arter initially reacted angrily to Sissoko’s challenge as both sets of players clashed on the field, but later insisted he hoped the France midfielder would escape a ban.
“I’m not one to hold grudges, he said sorry, he didn’t mean it, so that’s end of,” said Arter.
“It looks like he elbowed me but he apologised and said it was an accident so that’s good to me.
“I feel happy with his apology and if he didn’t mean it hopefully he doesn’t get banned.”
Argentinian manager Pochettino admitted Sissoko’s anticipated three-match absence will prove damaging during a hectic fixture run for Tottenham.
The former Southampton boss insisted Sissoko had no need to apologise, however.
Asked if Sissoko’s impending ban is a blow, Pochettino said: “That is true, because we are in a period that we need all the squad, all the players fit to compete.
“We have a big four games, Liverpool, Leicester, Leverkusen and Arsenal.
“It’s true that it’s difficult now, because he’s a player that was in our plans to play tomorrow, and now we need to change a little bit.
“I believe in him, that it wasn’t intentional, but the action happened.
“It wasn’t his intention for that to happen. Sometimes that happens during matches.”
Pochettino confirmed he will rest Hugo Lloris for Tuesday’s EFL Cup clash at Liverpool, insisting top stars like the France goalkeeper are not “machines”.
“It’s true that tomorrow we’ll play Michel Vorm,” said Pochettino.
“Hugo is not a machine, he’s one of the best but he’s not a machine. Tomorrow is a very good opportunity for Michel, he deserves to play.
“Players like Lloris, they are not machines. And it is very tough to go from international matches, to the Premier League, to the Champions League and back to the Premier League, without any breaks.
“So we will rotate and we will rotate in the next few games too, because it’s important that the whole squad feel they are important, have the chance to play and show their quality.”