Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray has said the five match ban handed to forward Adi Yussuf is both “harsh” and “disappointing”, following news of the 24-year-old’s suspension by the Football Association.
In a statement, the Football Association today said: “Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Adi Yussuf has been suspended from all domestic club football for five first team competitive matches and fined £700 after he admitted an FA misconduct charge.
“It follows a breach of FA Rule E3 by the Mansfield Town player in or around the 30th and 53rd minute of the league fixture against Plymouth Argyle on 13 February 2016.
“The decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission, which sat on Thursday 10 March 2016, also included a warning as to the player’s future conduct.”
Stags’ boss Adam Murray said: “We are very disappointed by the length of ban received.
“Whilst the football club does not, in any way, condone the isolated ‘act’ which has previously been reported, it should be borne in mind that Adi has stated that he was given alleged guidance by both a steward and unused substitutes from Plymouth Argyle as to where to perform this act, which was at the back of the Plymouth stand and out of public view.
“At this time Adi was an unused substitute and was warming up on the touchline at the far end of Home Park and furthermore, the water closets at this ground are a fair distance away (in the home dressing room).
“Without in any way excusing the player’s act, Adi did follow instructions by three Plymouth employees, at a venue which was unfamiliar to him.
“It must be re-emphasised that the club would never support this type of action. Adi has been disciplined by the club, fully reminded of his responsibilities in no uncertain terms and warned of his future conduct in such circumstances.
“However, the punishment, in my view, is harsh and very disappointing. It will obviously have a knock-on effect heading into our remaining 11 matches in our bid for a play-off place and will limit our attacking options.”
The manager added: “After brief conversations with the chairman last night, he is fully supportive of backing me with view to a forward replacement.
“In the last 24 hours we have missed out on three players to rival clubs but are working very hard to find a suitable player to add to our ranks.”