Leeds striker Bamford banned for two games

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has been banned for two games by the Football Association (FA) after being found guilty of successfully deceiving a match official.

Aston Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi was dismissed following a clash with Bamford during Sunday's controversial 1-1 draw with Leeds at Elland Road.

A melee had broken out in the aftermath of Mateusz Klich's 72nd-minute opening goal, which was scored immediately after the hosts opted not to kick the ball out of play to allow Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia to receive treatment.

However, television replays indicated contact between El Ghazi and Bamford was minimal, with the Villa midfielder having his suspension rescinded.

Bamford, who the FA said denied the charge, will miss Leeds' last Championship game of the season at relegated Ipswich Town, as well as the first leg of the play-off semi-final.

"It was alleged that the Leeds United player's behaviour in the 72nd minute of the EFL Championship fixture against Aston Villa on Sunday [28/04/2019], in committing a clear act of simulation which led to the dismissal of an opponent, amounted to improper conduct," an FA statement said.

"Whilst the forward denied the charge, it was subsequently found proven during an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today [02/05/2019]."

Leeds claimed Bamford did not deny the charge but the club wanted to challenge his punishment, which they felt he should have avoided due to the actions of their head coach Marcelo Bielsa during the bad-tempered game.

"Whilst Patrick Bamford did not deny the charge of successful deception of a match official following our Championship game against Aston Villa on Sunday, the club did request a hearing to contest the penalty imposed on the player," Leeds said.

"The club felt that given the circumstances surrounding the incident, including the extraordinary act of sportsmanship which saw our head coach Marcelo Bielsa demand our team to allow Aston Villa to score an uncontested equaliser, we could have a sensible discussion around the sanction.

"We acknowledge that the FA panel did not feel that to be reasonable and the club therefore joins Patrick in accepting the two-match ban."

Leeds slipped to third in the Championship table after back-to-back league losses to Wigan Athletic and Brentford last month effectively handed promotion to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United, who will join leaders Norwich City in the Premier League.

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