Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has apologised for headbutting Hull City midfielder David Meyler.
The Football Association said it will “investigate” after Pardew was dismissed during the second half of the Magpies’ 4-1 victory at the KC Stadium.
The 52-year-old said: “I did not mean any damage to the guy but I have moved my head forward. I tried to push him away with my head.
“I apologise to everyone. I should not have got involved in it.”
With the Magpies 3-1 up, Pardew was angered when Meyler shoved past him in an attempt to retrieve the ball to take a throw-in.
The pair came together, with the former Reading and Southampton boss pushing his head into the face of the Hull player.
A fracas involving players and staff from both sides followed and, when the crowd was dispersed, Meyler was booked and Pardew sent from the touchline.
Pardew said: “I don’t think it was a headbutt. It wasn’t a motion that was quick.
“Of course, I’m not stupid enough to accept there’s going to be no punishment. I’ll have to accept whatever comes my way.”
FA chairman Greg Dyke told a source: “Clearly it looks serious and we will investigate it but I can’t really say anything else at this stage.”
Newcastle boss Pardew, who in 2012 was given a two-game ban for pushing an assistant referee, added: “It was a situation where I should not have been there.
“I will sit down from now on and send [assistant manager] John Carver out there.”
Pardew admitted his behaviour had “taken the gloss off a magnificent performance from my team”.
He added: “The players were terrific; it was only myself who had a poor performance all-round. I am very, very pleased with the team but very upset with myself.”
Shortly after full-time, but before Pardew apologised, a leading bookmaker suspended betting on the next Premier League manager to be sacked.
Hull boss Steve Bruce sympathised with his Newcastle counterpart because of the “pressure” managers are under, and also praised Meyler for staying on his feet.
Bruce told a source: “I’m sure Alan’s absolutely regretting it and questioning himself, asking ‘how the hell have I done that?’.
“The pressure on all Premier League managers is enormous. It’s not like Alan, he’s an established Premier League manager.
“I’m delighted with the reaction of David Meyler because other people would’ve been rolling round the floor. We’ve all done silly things in the heat of the moment.”
BBC pundits Gary Lineker and Robbie Savage condemned Pardew’s actions on Twitter.
Former England striker Lineker described the incident as “inexcusable”, while former Wales midfielder Savage said: “Couldn’t believe my eyes when I seen [sic] Pardew throw his head into Meyler, absolutely disgraceful behaviour from a manager.”
This is not the first time Pardew has apologised for his behaviour this season.
In January, television cameras caught him verbally abusing Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini during the Magpies’ 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park.
In November 2006, Pardew said sorry to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for his celebrations following a winning goal against the Gunners, some eight months after he denied Wenger’s claims he was a racist or xenophobe.