Date:Friday April 13 2007
The Football Association has handed Royals striker, Leroy Lita a charge for violent conduct after an incident in Reading`s goalless draw with Charlton.
The England under-21s starlet conflicted with Charlton defender Talal El Karkouri and the games referee Graham Poll has expressed 'his view that the incident warranted a red card` - after watching video footage of the incident.
In an official Football Association statement the FA clarified that:
'The FA sought clarification from match referee Graham Poll, who has confirmed that he did not see the incident but, having reviewed video footage, expressed read an FA statement.
'Lita has until 6pm on April 12th to admit or deny the charge. A disciplinary commission will hear the case on April 13th.'
It is still unknown how Lita has responded to the charges but Reading boss Steve Coppell is adamant his striker did nothing wrong and has condemned El Karkouri for what Coppell dubbed 'death roll'.
Coppell answered to the charges: 'We will be contesting it 100% - it's ridiculous.
'I have seen it 50 times and I can't see what happened. There was a confrontation but you can't see categorically what happened apart from an incredible reaction.
'I was amazed how he (El Karkouri) managed to play on considering the death roll that ensued after alleged contact.
'Intensive care must have been on red alert waiting for face reconstruction but it never happened.
'El Karkouri confronts him. He doesn't square up to him because that suggests he is going to punch him but he turns round to face Leroy, who says he was just protecting himself.
'He said, 'I didn't know what he was going to do so I just scrunched up.'
'If Leroy was going to butt anyone they wouldn't fall sideways and they probably wouldn't get up. That is the wrong way of looking at it because I don't want to slur Leroy with being that type of person but realistically if he was wanting to cause damage I don't think he (El Karkouri) would have continued the game. Leroy says he was just protecting himself.
'Graham Poll has also said that if he had seen it he would have sent him off but you can't see anything. I have looked at all the camera angles and there is no way you can categorically say that there was contact first and foremost - there is only a suggestion of it by the way he falls.'
In the meantime, Coppell is left in dire straits as to whether or not to pick Lita for this weekend, the situation he is in means such a decision to do so may be na´ve, as Lita may not be available:
'I expect to find out on Friday but I don't know what time. It is all shrouded in mystery.'
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