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Newcastle coach Alan Pardew could face ban after pushing official

NIGEL RODDIS/REUTERS

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew could be hit with a touchline ban after he shoved referee's assistant Stuart Burt during his side's 2-1 win over Tottenham.

Pardew lunged in frustration towards Burt when he believed Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto had dragged the ball over the touchline, and was immediately sent to the stands by referee Martin Atkinson.

Former West Ham and Southampton boss Pardew described his actions as "stupid" and "inexcusable" after Saturday's match at St James' Park and revealed that he had gone to Burt and Atkinson to apologise.

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Pardew said: "It was ridiculous and I apologised publicly. He was right in front of me and I thought the ball was out and I shoved him. I went to see him and told him it was stupid and I don't know what I was thinking."

However, that is unlikely to spare Pardew further sanction, with the Football Association -- who said they would not comment on the incident until they receive Atkinson's report on Monday -- keen to clamp down on discipline at the start of the season.

The precedent for pushing an official was set by Paolo Di Canio in 1998, when the Sheffield Wednesday player's push on Paul Alcock earned him an 11-game ban.

Pardew's relatively light shove is unlikely to earn him such lengthy punishment, but it is not the first time he has been involved in a high-profile touchline altercation.

In 2006, Pardew's wild celebration of a late Marlon Harewood winner for West Ham against Arsenal provoked a furious reaction from Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, who shoved the Hammers boss during an angry confrontation.

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