Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has apologised for his part in the spitting incident between him and Manchester United defender Jonny Evans.
Evans, meanwhile, has denied spitting, saying he was dismayed to read reports that he had spat at Cissé during Wednesday night’s Premier League game at Newcastle.
The Football Association says it is waiting for referee Anthony Taylor’s report before deciding whether to act.
Spitting carries a mandatory six-game ban and if Cissé was charged and convicted his punishment would be increased, with the frontman having already served a three-match suspension for violent conduct earlier in the season.
Cissé said in a statement on the Newcastle website: “I have apologies to make to a lot of people today. Firstly to my team-mates and to our supporters, secondly to Jonny Evans, and thirdly to every football fan who saw the incident between myself and Jonny.
“I reacted to something I found very unpleasant. Sometimes it is hard not to react, particularly in the heat of the moment. I have always tried hard to be positive a role model, especially for our young fans, and yesterday I let you down.
“I hope children out there playing football for their clubs and schools this weekend will know better than to retaliate when they are angry. Perhaps when they see the problem it now causes me and my team they will be able to learn from my mistake, not copy it.”
In a statement released on Manchester United’s official website, Evans said: “Having woken up this morning, I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night’s match. I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cissé.
“I was totally unaware of any spitting incident and had assumed that the issue at the time was with the challenge and his attempted retaliation to the tackle from the floor. During the game Papiss Cissé and I spoke about the incident and it is clear by my reaction in the television footage that I was totally surprised by any suggestion of spitting.
“It is not in my character or in my nature to spit at anybody nor is it something I have ever done or would ever do. It is certainly not something that I did last night.”
Neither Newcastle manager John Carver nor Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal said they saw the incident.
“I can’t comment on it,” said Carver, whose side were beaten 1-0. “I just know there was a fracas on the halfway line.”
Van Gaal said: “I don’t think Jonny Evans is a spitter. Maybe spitting on the floor, but we were on the bench and you cannot see from there.”