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Friday, January 6, 2006
Sommeil contests FA charge for horror tackle on Lee

Manchester City defender David Sommeil has decided to contest the violent conduct charge lodged against him by the Football Assocation.

After taking observations from match referee Alan Wiley, the FA have launched a case against Sommeil for his studs-up tackle on Tottenham's Young-pyo Lee during the Premiership encounter at Eastlands on Wednesday.

Sommeil is facing a three-match ban and was given the option of pleading guilty so he could start the suspension immediately.

Instead, the 31-year-old former Bordeaux defender has opted to have the case heard at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, meaning he is now free to face Scunthorpe in the FA Cup tomorrow but risk missing any fourth round game, plus the Premiership encounters with Manchester United and Bolton which precede it.

Sommeil has the backing of manager Stuart Pearce, who, unlike most observers, felt the full-back's studs-up challenge came more out of self defence than any intention to hurt the Korean, who was stretchered off with a badly bruised knee.

'It looked to me like the Tottenham guy was trying to smash the ball at David,' said the City boss. 'David has definitely caught the lad but whether he is trying to turn away to shield himself from the ball being kicked at him or whether he has intentionally kicked him I am not sure.

'But he is not a nasty person and his disciplinary record bears that out.'

The odds are against Sommeil escaping a suspension but according to Pearce, there are worse challenges in the Premiership every weekend, with the one by Michael Brown on Joey Barton seconds before in the same game a prime example.

'I see many tackles that are a lot worse than that on TV every Saturday night,' he said.

'I don't think many people saw it because most had their attention on the original tackle just prior to that which was very poor and might have been a red card offence in itself.'




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