Joss Labadie: Torquay midfielder handed 10-game ban for biting

Joss Labadie

Torquay midfielder Joss Labadie has been banned for 10 games and fined £2,000 after the Football Association found him guilty of biting an opponent.

The incident occurred in the club's 3-1 loss to Chesterfield but Labadie, who denied the charge, was not punished during the game.

Labadie's ban is the same as that given to Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Torquay have until 12:00 GMT on Monday, 17 March to appeal.

The three-person independent regulatory commission will supply its written judgement to Torquay and the FA on Friday.

Both parties then have the weekend to decide on any action.

In theory, the FA could also appeal against the decision if it felt the punishment is too lenient, although that is understood to be unlikely in this case.

The Gulls - who say they are "considering their options" - are bottom of League Two, seven points adrift of safety with 11 games of the season to go.

Labadie has made nine appearances for the club since joining from Notts County in January.

Chesterfield declined to make an official complaint at the time but Spireites player Ollie Banks made allegations on Twitter that he had been bitten during the game.

Commentator Julian Gaunt was covering the match for BBC Radio Devon and said the incident for which Labadie was charged - which is said to have taken place after 49 minutes of the game - was not clear cut.

"I didn't notice anything during the game itself which suggested anything like this although Labadie was involved in a few clashes with Chesterfield players," Gaunt told BBC South West Sport.

"But at the end of the game Chesterfield's Armand Gnanduillet was absolutely incensed and was trying to get at Labadie. He had to be forcibly restrained by his team-mates.

"There was definitely some real aggravation and tension on the pitch after the final whistle."

Following the judgement, Chesterfield - who are top of League Two - have stressed they are keen to move on from the incident and that they had no direct involvement in the bringing of the charge.

Speaking last week, Gulls boss Chris Hargreaves said he felt Labadie should not have been charged for the incident, which referee Carl Boyeson did not spot at the time, in the first instance.

"It's a denial from the club and from myself of any wrongdoing," Hargreaves told BBC Radio Devon.

"From what I've seen, I don't know how they can get to that conclusion."

Labadie, 23, scored the winner in his side's 2-1 win over Rochdale on Tuesday - ironically a result which boosted Chesterfield's chances of automatic promotion as one of their main rivals unexpectedly dropped points.

Suarez's ban made headlines around the world after he was caught on television biting the arm of Ivanovic in the Premier League last season.

The Uruguayan was also banned for seven games in 2010 after biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal's shoulder while playing for Ajax.

While Labadie's offence took place in the less high-profile surroundings of League Two, the former Tranmere midfielder has received exactly the same length of suspension.

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