FA charge former Canaries star with violent conduct following bizarre 'bite' incident during Derby game
PUBLISHED: 10:30 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:32 29 November 2018
Former Norwich City midfielder Bradley Johnson is facing a minimum four-game suspension after being charged with violent conduct following an alleged bite while in action for Derby.
A melee broke out at the Bet365 Stadium after Stoke midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo was shown a red card for a challenge on Derby defender Richard Keogh, with Allen grabbing Johnson around the neck during Stoke’s 2-1 win.
The former Canaries player of the season reacted by appearing to lunge for a bite on the Wales international’s neck, clearly pulling away with some of Allen’s shirt in his mouth – with both eventually booked.
The Potters player told the BBC afterwards: “It might look a certain way but he hasn’t bit me.
“He might have got a little bit of the shirt but nothing that I’m worried about and I don’t think it should go any further than that.”
However, the FA has reviewed the TV evidence of the incident and has judged that Johnson should appear before an independent panel of former referees.
“Derby County’s Bradley Johnson has been charged with violent conduct,” says an FA statement.
“It follows an incident with Stoke City’s Joe Allen during yesterday’s game (Wednesday 28 November 2018) which was not seen by the match officials but caught on camera.
“It is alleged that the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient.”
The former Leeds midfielder’s booking was his fifth of the season so he is banned for the Rams’ clash with Swansea on Saturday anyway.
Johnson made 155 appearances for Norwich between 2011 and 2015, scoring 15 league goals during the Championship promotion campaign of 2015 before being surprisingly sold to Derby for around £8m early in the 2015-16 Premier League season, which finished in relegation under Alex Neil.
Former Liverpool star Luis Suarez was banned from all football for four months and from internationals for nine games after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup. The Uruguayan had previously been banned for 10 games in England for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Stoke moved up to 12th and within five points of the play-offs with their win and Derby slipped to seventh, with the Canaries’ position as leaders unaffected but West Brom closing to within three points in fourth thanks to a 2-1 win at Swansea.
Stoke boss Gary Rowett had said: “Originally someone said to me Bradley Johnson’s bit Joe Allen.
“I’ve spoken to Joe Allen, he’s said nothing problematic, and the referee. We certainly won’t be pushing for anything and I hope no-one else does.”
• You can watch the Johnson incident above