January 10, 2019 / 9:10 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer - Saints striker Austin gets two-match ban for gesture

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Derby County v Southampton - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - January 5, 2019 Derby County's Fikayo Tomori in action with Southampton's Charlie Austin Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

(Reuters) - Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been handed a two-match FA ban for making an abusive gesture towards Manchester City supporters during a Premier League game at St Mary’s last month.

He will miss Saturday’s league visit to Leicester City and Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay at home to Derby County but will be back for the Jan. 19 game with Everton.

Austin, 29, was caught making a two-fingered gesture towards a section of booing away fans while being substituted during Southampton’s 3-1 league defeat in late December.

“Southampton’s Charlie Austin has been suspended for two matches with immediate effect following an independent regulatory commission hearing,” the FA said in a statement.

“The striker admitted his gesture in or around the 68th minute of the game against Manchester City on 30 December 2018 was abusive and/or insulting.”

Southampton forwards Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi are also both set to miss the Leicester game with hamstring injuries.

Saints are third from bottom in the standings two points behind Cardiff City who are in the safety zone. Austin has scored three goals in 18 games in all competitions this season.

Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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