Southampton’s Charlie Austin handed two-game ban for gesture to away fans | Football

The Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been handed a two-match suspension by the FA after admitting making a gesture towards Manchester City fans during the recent Premier League game at St Mary’s.

Austin admitted the FA charge after appearing to gesture towards the away fans as he was substituted during Southampton’s 3-1 defeat at St Mary’s on 30 December. The 29-year-old will miss Saturday’s Premier League trip to Leicester and the home FA Cup replay against Derby on Wednesday.

“Southampton’s Charlie Austin has been suspended for two matches with immediate effect following an independent regulatory commission hearing today,” the FA statement read. “The striker admitted his gesture in or around the 68th minute of the game against Manchester City on 30 December was abusive and/or insulting.”

Austin’s absence leaves Ralph Hasenhüttl with only two fit forwards for the trip to the King Power Stadium – Shane Long and the returning Sam Gallagher. Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi are both set to miss out with hamstring injuries, while Manolo Gabbiadini is set to join Sampdoria on a permanent deal.

The Southampton manager revealed during his pre-match press conference that he is targeting “long-term” attacking reinforcements in the January transfer window, and has also recalled attacking midfielder Josh Sims from his loan spell at Reading.

Hasenhüttl also confirmed that goalkeeper Fraser Forster and centre-back Wesley Hoedt are both available for transfer this month as the Austrian continues to trim his squad.

Watford’s Deeney charged over referee comments

The Watford striker Troy Deeney has been charged over comments he made about referee David Coote following his team’s 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.

Deeney was critical of Coote’s performance in the Premier League clash, and claimed in a post-match interview that the referee had “bottled it on a few occasions”.

“Abdoulaye Doucouré probably did get lucky [not to be sent off], but you can’t tell me that their boy [Dan Gosling] did not try to do Tom Cleverley,” Deeney said to the BBC. “They know it. We know. But the referee bottled it on a few occasions today.”

A statement from the FA read: “Troy Deeney has been charged following post-match media comments he made about the appointed match referee for Watford’s game against Bournemouth on 2 January.” Deeney has until 6pm on Tuesday to respond.

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