George Boyd Charged by FA for Spitting at Joe Hart During Hull vs. Man City

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2014

HULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Goalkeeper Joe Hart of Manchester City and George Boyd of Hull City clash following a penalty area incident during the Barclays Premier league match between Hull City and Manchester City at KC Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Updates from Thursday, March 20

Boyd has been suspended for three matches, per the FA's official announcement:

Hull City’s George Boyd will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after an FA charge for spitting was found proven.

The incident with Manchester City’s Joe Hart, which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video, occurred in or around the 68th minute of the fixture between the two sides on Saturday 15 March 2014.

Boyd had denied the breach of FA Rule E1[a], but it was found proven at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today [Thursday 20 March 2014].

Original Text

Hull City midfielder George Boyd has been charged by the FA after his on-field altercation with Joe Hart of Manchester City on Saturday.

The players came together after Hart challenged Boyd in the penalty area during City's 2-0 victory. Boyd appeared to fall to ground without contact in pursuit of a penalty, prompting the wrath of the goalkeeper.

Hart reacted angrily as he believed the player had dived, and he appeared to push his head toward Boyd's, causing a confrontation.

Boyd appeared to spit at the England goalkeeper during the incident and could now face punishment.

The FA confirmed the news of the charge via Twitter:

According to Sky Sports, Hull will appeal:

The Tigers have confirmed that Boyd will challenge the charge.

Hull boss Steve Bruce said after the match: "He (Boyd) has tried to talk and shout and something's come out. That's what I've seen of it.

"George Boyd wouldn't do that, no chance. Not deliberately, anyway. He is as honest as they come - he was playing non-league six years ago."

Hart was booked by referee Lee Mason for his part in the incident and as a result he will face no further action.

Hull City also acknowledged the FA charge, and confirmed the nature of the accusation against their player:

Richard Gibson of The Guardian reported on Steve Bruce's defence of his player after the match. The Hull manager said of Boyd's possible indiscretion: 

No, that's a load of rubbish. He's tried to talk and something has come out. That's what I've seen. George Boyd wouldn't do that, definitely wouldn't do that. No chance.

Look, George is as honest as they come. He was playing non-league six years ago. If you're a football player and you're in that situation, with the goalkeeper hurtling towards you, what are you going to do? Stand there and say 'go on then, whack me'?

Gibson also quoted Boyd's reaction to the incident with Hart:

He said afterwards he didn't touch me but I thought he touched me a little bit. His reaction was over the top. He didn't nut me but he's put his head in, so he should have got sent off, really.

Boyd has mainly featured from the substitute bench this year, but has still played in 25 Premier League matches this season, scoring once, per Squawka.

His lively impact nearly helped Hull back into the game against City, but the incident with Hart now looks likely to keep him sidelined for a chunk of the season run-in.

If banned, Boyd could miss matches against West Brom, West Ham and Stoke, all of which are crucial to Hull's survival push.

If he receives anything more than a three-match ban he could also potentially be unavailable for Hull's huge FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Sheffield United on April 13, per BBC Sport.

Boyd has until 6 p.m. Wednesday to respond to the charge, per