Jamie Carragher: I would rather be spat at than have my leg broken
Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has condemned spitting as "vile" in the wake of FA bans for Papiss Cisse and Jonny Evans, but has told the Daily Mail that he would rather be spat at than have his leg broken by an opponent.
Evans will serve a six-match ban and Cisse a seven-match ban after being found guilty of spitting at each other.
The incident occurred during Wednesday night's 1-0 Premier League win for Manchester United over Newcastle at St James' Park.
Evans' ban will start with Monday's FA Cup quarterfinal against Arsenal, while Cisse is suspended for seven matches having already been punished for violent conduct this season.
Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters told talkSPORT that any player who spat at him would be "eating his supper through a straw" afterwards, but former Anfield captain Carragher believes dangerous tackles are worse than spitting.
"The issue of spitting, sadly, has emerged again this week with Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse both being condemned," he wrote in his Mail column on Saturday.
"As usual, there have been a number of people who have said 'it is the worst thing that can happen on a pitch'; it is vile but let me assure you now -- I would have preferred Lucas Neill to have spat at me the day he broke my leg in September 2003!
"I was spat at once in my career. It came during a UEFA Cup game against Celta Vigo in 1998 and the player in question was a Russian midfielder called Aleksander Mostovoi. I was shocked more than angry when he did it because I couldn't believe what had happened.
"Cisse has admitted being in the wrong and hit with a seven-game ban. I know it is a disgusting thing to do but I do think that punishment seems a little excessive, particularly if you compare it to an over-the-top tackle that would 'only' get three games.
"For Evans, the incident doesn't look good at all. It would have been easy enough for him to spit well away from Cisse.
"One final thing: all those people who have said about Evans 'he's not that type of lad.' Who is then? Is there are a list somewhere of names who are 'that type'? It is a stupid thing to say. It's not about his character. It's about whether he had a moment of madness, deliberately or not."
The FA said in a statement: "Both players were charged in relation to an alleged breach of FA Rule E1[a] in that in or around the 38th minute of the fixture they spat at each other.
"Mr Cisse accepted the charge and his suspension consists of six matches, which is the standard penalty for this offence, with an additional one match as he has previously accepted a violent conduct charge this season.
"Mr Evans denied the charge but it was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Friday [6 March], resulting in a six-match suspension. "The incidents were not seen by the match officials but caught on video."