Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse have until 6pm on Friday to respond to the initial FA chargeGetty Images

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse have both been charged for their respective roles in an unsavoury spitting incident during the Premier League fixture at St James' Park on 4 March, the Football Association has confirmed.

Ashley Young's 89th minute effort saw Louis van Gaal's side take all three points from an entertaining encounter but the result has been overshadowed by events that occurred around seven minutes before half-time, when Evans and Cisse appeared to spit at each other during an altercation after which neither player was cautioned by referee Anthony Taylor.

Cisse has since offered an apology for his role in the fracas, while Evans protested his innocence and denied all accusations of spitting at the Senegal international.

"Newcastle United's Papiss Cisse and Manchester United's Jonny Evans have both been charged by the FA following their game on Wednesday 4 March 2015," the FA said in an official statement released on 5 March.

"The charges are in relation to an alleged breach of FA Rule E1[a] in that in or around the 38th minute of the game the two players spat at each other. The incidents were not seen by the match officials but caught on video. Both players have until 6pm on Friday 6 March 2015 to respond to the charge.

"In Premier League matches, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees will be asked by the FA to review the footage independently of each other.

"They will then advise what, if any action, they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time. For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. In this instance, the decision by the panel was unanimous in respect of both players."

If found guilty of the offence, Evans faces a potential six-game ban, while Cisse would receive a seven-match suspension owing to a previous charge for violent conduct received in the aftermath of Newcastle's 3-2 victory over Everton in December 2014.