Cabaye contests FA charge

The 26-year-old Frenchman was handed the charge on Monday after

his clash with Brighton defender Adam El-Abd during Saturday’s 1-0

FA Cup fourth-round defeat at the Amex Stadium with match referee

Lee Probert having taken no action at the time.

However, manager Alan Pardew, who is facing the prospect of

having to do without one of his key men for three games if he is

found guilty, is furious that his summer signing has been brought

to book.

And he revealed El-Abd, who said at the time he felt Cabaye

should have seen red, has offered to help him clear his name.

Pardew, who was unhappy at the extent to which the incident was

highlighted during television coverage of the game, said: “I am

absolutely livid about it, if I am honest, because firstly, when

the incident happened, I didn’t see anything wrong with it.

“After the game, someone said to me the TV coverage, especially

the presenter, Ray Stubbs, was so ferocious about it, and I

couldn’t understand that.

“He had two professionals on that show telling him that the guy

was trying to keep the player from tumbling on him.

“I have reviewed that about seven or eight times and seriously,

he is trying to stop the boy falling on him.

“He does make a gesture to push him away and in doing so,

catches him just on the lip.

“If you find that that was a malicious attempt to do that then,

my goodness, you have never played this game.

“I cannot believe that the referee, after the game, has gone

back. Now whether this is pressure that he’s under, I don’t

know.

“Yesterday, I had a call from the Brighton coaching team to

suggest to me that their player wants to support our player, and I

have never had that.

“We never instigated it, we never asked or put a phone call in

to Brighton – in fact, I didn’t see [Brighton manager] Gus [Poyet]

after the game, and I must apologise to him for that, because I had

to shoot off.

“We have sent our letter in, a strong letter, and we have also,

after the contact from Brighton, asked the Brighton player if he

would forward a letter to us, which he has kindly done, and that

will go in as well.”

That would appear to signal a change of heart from El-Abd, who

said after the game he felt Cabaye should have been sent off.

“I’ve seen it again and I think it was frustration on his part

and he did have a little kick out at me,” said El-Abd at the

time.

“I think it was a sending-off. I think he knew what he was doing

as well but

that’s for the referee to decide.

“It’s part of the game, it’s not nice but sometimes people get

frustrated.”

Cabaye had until 6pm on Tuesday evening to respond to the

charge. Had he accepted it, he would have been banned for Wednesday

night’s Premier League trip to Blackburn and the following two

games against Aston Villa and Tottenham.

Pardew, who asked to attend the hearing in person to argue his

point, is hoping for clemency.

He said: “If we had 18 cameras at every game, you would be

sending two or three players off at every set-play because there’s

contract, trust me, more intended contact than there is with

Cabaye’s incident.

“I really do think they need to just take a deep breath on this

one, have a good luck at it.

“If you asked every Premier League manager about that incident,

I would suggest 17 managers would say, ‘No way’.

“The three teams we are playing might say yes, it probably

should have, but 17 wouldn’t. That’s my opinion of it.”

Pardew, who will have skipper Fabricio Coloccini after a groin

injury, will definitely be without Senegal strikers Demba Ba and

Papiss Demba Cisse for the game at Ewood Park as a result of their

gruelling journey back from the African Nations Cup in Equatorial

Guinea and Gabon.

He said: “They have got a very, very difficult journey in front

of them with the time difference and everything else, and we don’t

think they are going to make the game – in fact, I have accepted

that they won’t make the game.”