Bournemouth midfielder, Jefferson Lerma has been banned for six matches after allegedly biting Sheffield Wednesday’s Josh Windass.
The Colombian footballer was accused of biting Windass in the 83rd minute of the Cherries’ 1-0 defeat by the Owls in November, but the 26-year-old strenuously denied the allegation.
The FA confirmed Lerma’s punishment for the alleged offence on Wednesday June 2, and also confirmed he had been fined £40,000. Bournemouth said they were ‘surprised and disappointed’ at the outcome.
A statement from the FA read: ‘Jefferson Lerma has been suspended for six matches and fined £40,000 following a breach of FA Rule E3 that occurred during an EFL Championship match against Sheffield Wednesday FC on 03/11/20.
‘The midfielder denied that his behaviour in or around the 83rd minute of the match constituted violent conduct.
‘An independent Regulatory Commission found the breach of FA Rule E3 proven after considering evidence during a hearing.’
But Bournemouth believe there is a lack of ‘clear and compelling’ evidence of the alleged incident.
In a statement, the club said: ‘Since the start of this unnecessarily long process, Jefferson has strenuously denied the charge and has been fully supported by the club in doing so. Both the club and player have fully cooperated with the FA throughout.
‘As stated in the commission’s written reasons, the video footage of the incident between the players was ‘not conclusive’. In addition, there was no photographic evidence of any bite mark and Mr Windass – who is described as an ‘unappealing witness’ who ‘gave every impression of simply not caring’ – did not seek or receive any medical attention or treatment.
‘Expert evidence was also presented to the commission suggesting that Jefferson was most unlikely to have intentionally bitten Mr Windass, but this appears to have been rejected without due consideration.
‘The club believes there was a lack of clear and compelling evidence in finding the charge against Jefferson proven, and the player is currently considering his options regarding an appeal.’