Man United’s Paul Pogba suspended for first match back in Premier League


Manchester United’s world-record new signing Paul Pogba is suspended for his side’s first Premier League match of the season, the Football Association has confirmed.

Pogba, 23, returned to Old Trafford from Juventus this summer for £89.3 million, four years after leaving for Turin for just £800,000 following a lack of game time and a dispute over a new contract.

However, he will have to wait to make his second United debut, as he is banned from appearing in the club’s first Premier League match of the new season at Bournemouth on Sunday.

The France internationalis suspended because of the two bookings he received in last season’s Coppa Italia, the second of which came in the 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the final.

With the #PLkickoff this weekend, did you know four players are serving suspensions?


– The FA (@FA) August 12, 2016

The FA has confirmed on Twitter that the suspension is transferred over to the English game, rendering him ineligible for Jose Mourinho’s first match as United manager.

It was already unlikely that Pogba would start the Bournemouth match, as he was part of the France team that lost the Euro 2016 final to Portugal on July 10, playing all 120 minutes of the match in Paris as the hosts lost 1-0 in extra time.

Pogba will, however, be fit for face Southampton on Aug. 19, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

“By Tuesday, he [Pogba] will be ready to play against Southampton,” he told a news conference. “I found out two days ago [that Pogba faced a ban].

Had Pogba remained in Italy then he would not be suspended for Juventus’ first Serie A match of the upcoming season. The disciplinary rules of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) state clearly that any ban picked up in the Coppa Italia — Italy’s domestic cup competition — only applies in that particular competition.

Article 19, section 11.1 of the FIGC’s disciplinary regulations states that any sanctions “in relation to Coppa Italia or Regional Cup matches organised by regional committees are to be applied in the respective competitions. As such, the Coppa Italia is to be considered separate from the relative leagues.”

The next section, 11.2, goes on to detail how the disciplinary rules in the Coppa Italia differ from the Serie A rules in that an automatic one-game suspension applies after just two yellow cards.

In Serie A, a player is banned after five, 10, 14, 17, 19 and 20 bookings. Pogba was shown 10 yellow cards in the league last season, and he consequently missed two league matches, including the penultimate game of the season.

He was also booked twice in the Coppa Italia, with the yellow card in the final victory over AC Milan consequently ruling him out of his next appearance in the Coppa Italia, but not affecting his eligibility for any other competition.

However, the FA does not make the same distinction between league and cup competitions in English football. Under Article 12 of FIFA’s regulations Pogba’s ban has been transferred on to what would have been his first Premier League appearance since he came on as a substitute in a 5-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on March 18, 2012.

Mourinho added: “I knew the situation with the yellow cards. I didn’t know if the suspension would be in Italian football, a suspension for the same competition, or the corresponding competition in England, the FA Cup. I didn’t know that, so I was waiting for the decision.”

ESPN FC’s Italy correspondent Ben Gladwell contributed to this report

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