Elbowing storm: Tamas ‘is sorry’

West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas yesterday apologised to Norwich striker James Vaughan after accepting his three match FA ban for violent conduct.

The Albion centre back, however, maintained his innocence over his role in the elbow incident that left Vaughan with a gashed lip during the closing stages of Sunday's 1-0 Premier League defeat for the Canaries.

Tamas escaped any punishment from match official Mark Halsey on the day itself, although the referee has since confirmed he would have red carded the centre back if he had seen the incident.

City's medical team sent Vaughan to visit a plastic surgeon on Sunday night after the former Evertonian was poleaxed inside the West Brom penalty area.

The 27-year-old Romanian defender will now miss this weekend's Premier League trip to Swansea along with a Carling Cup tie at Everton and Fulham's league visit to the Hawthorns.

Albion issued a statement on their official site following Tamas' decision not to contest the FA charge. The club's legal director/secretary Richard Garlick said: 'We have spoken at length with Gabriel and he is adamant that he did not intentionally elbow James in the face. However, he admits the way he turned in the penalty area was clumsy and he has apologised to James through a mutual friend for the injury he has suffered. We, as a club, also send our best wishes to James. Although we accept Gabriel's version of the incident, both the player and the club have decided against appealing the decision as it would prove very difficult to overturn. The referee, Mark Halsey, has looked at television replays in the cold light of day and decided that, had he seen the incident in real time, he would have sent Gabriel off. We have also seen several angles of the clash and although Gabriel did not deliberately elbow James, we accept it would be very hard to prove this and get the three-game ban overturned.'

Norwich have made no official comment since the weekend, but chief executive David McNally used his personal Twitter account to insist any retrospective ban wouldn't help Norwich City.