Blackburn’s Hope Akpan receives 4-match ban following referee tussle

Nigeria international and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Hope Akpan has received a 4-match ban following his involvement in events on the pitch after his goal (a late equalizer) was disallowed in Blackburn’s 2-1 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.

Second-from-bottom Rovers went into the match looking for points and they put the ball in the back of the net thrice but had Fernando Fostieri’s attempt ruled out for offside and Akpan’s for handball with the midfielder receiving his marching orders after pushing the referee.

The FA statement read: “Blackburn Rovers player Hope Akpan will serve a four-match suspension with immediate effect following the game against Sheffield Wednesday on 14 February 2017.

“It was alleged his behaviour in or around the 87th minute of the game constituted violent conduct in circumstances where the standard punishment of three matches would be clearly insufficient.

“He denied the charge, however, it was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

“An additional one match suspension was added to the standard punishment the player is already serving following his dismissal.

“In relation to the same game, Blackburn have been fined £5,000 after the club admitted a charge of failing to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion in the 87th minute and accepted the standard penalty.”

Akpan will now miss fixtures with Burton, Derby and Wigan. Blackburn are 23rd on the Sky Bet Championship log, four points from safety with fifteen matches left.

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