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Fulham defender Zat Knight has been charged with violent behaviour by the Football Association following a clash with Blackburn striker Jon Stead during the Barclaycard Premiership clash at Loftus Road on April 12.

During the first half, the pair were running back towards the halfway line when Stead fell to the ground clutching his face and Blackburn claim he was headbutted by Knight, who escaped unpunished on the night as the incident was missed by referee Mike Dean and his officials.

A statement on www.thefa.com read: ‘The FA has today charged Knight with violent behaviour (breach of FA Rule E2) following an incident involving Blackburn Rovers’ Jon Stead during the match at Loftus Road on 12th April.

‘He has until 4th May to respond.” After the match Stead claimed the Fulham player had ‘put a nut on me”, while Rovers boss Graeme Souness reflected: ‘We feel Zat Knight should have been sent off.

‘The crowd went quiet after the incident so I think the only four people in the ground who didn’t see what happened were the four officials.

‘Zat won’t be proud of it when he sees it on TV. I think he’ll deeply regret what he did.”

Fulham manager Chris Coleman was hoping his 23-year-old defender would not be handed a ban.

Speaking after the defeat by Blackburn, he said: ‘They were running back and had a bit of a tussle…Zat has put his head in there. If the ref sees that he is off.

‘I hope he doesn’t get a ban, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

‘Zat lost his head and we don’t condone that sort of thing. He’s a nice lad and not a violent boy, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”