Rochdale striker Calvin Andrew has been hit with one of the longest bans in English football history following a disgraceful elbow on an Oldham player.
Andrew will miss the League One club’s next 12 matches after the Football Association viewed footage of the 29-year-old elbowing Latics defender Peter Clarke in a vicious off-the-ball incident.
The clash was initially missed by the referee, but an FA independent regulatory commission delivered the hefty suspension on Friday that is set to keep Andrew sidelined until early in the new year.
“Calvin Andrew has been given a 12-match ban with immediate effect following an incident which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video,” an FA statement read.
“The player was involved in an act of violent conduct in or around the 77th minute of the game against Oldham Athletic on 29 October 2016.
“Furthermore, it was alleged that the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply would be clearly insufficient.
“The player admitted his behaviour constituted violent conduct but denied the clearly insufficient element of the charge.”
Video footage emerged online after Andrew’s ban, which showed the striker running towards Clarke and making contact with his head with an outstretched arm.
Clarke did not appear to see the contact coming – with the ball well clear of the area – before being left prone on his own six-yard box.
Journeyman striker Andrew joined Rochdale in 2014, with his deal at Spotland set to expire at the end of the season.
Andrew started his career at his home-town club Luton, helping the Hatters win promotion to the Championship, and has spent his career in the lower leagues with the likes of Crystal Palace, Mansfield and Port Vale.
His ban is the longest handed down by the FA for an on-field incident in the top four divisions since Joey Barton was given a 12-match suspension after he was sent off for QPR in their memorable final-day defeat to Manchester City in 2012.
Controversial former Manchester United midfielder Eric Cantona was handed a nine-month suspension from all football and ordered to complete 120 hours of community service following an infamous Kung Fu kick on Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons at Selhurst Park in 1995.