Frei admits spitting

Switzerland football officials have revealed that Alexander Frei has confessed to spitting at Steven Gerrard after their Euro 2004 clash last Thursday.

Frei was finally charged with the offence after television cameras caught the event on camera.

The Swiss Football Federation had defended their striker at a Uefa disciplinary hearing, but have now revealed that Frei confessed to their press spokesman two days earlier.

Frei had protested his innocence in public and was initially cleared due to a lack of evidence, but the Swiss insist that they had not told him to lie.

Press spokesman Pierre Benoit had also said the player was innocent, but it has now been revealed that Frei told him of his guilt.

The Swiss Football Federation apologised for the incident in a statement saying: "Alex Frei's disciplinary case has taken on extraordinary dimensions.

"The federation would have represented Frei's interests differently and not disputed the facts but only tried to minimise the punishment."

The Swiss federation president Ralph Kloczower insists that it was not common knowledge and they would have not appealed had they been fully aware of Frei's admission.

"We would never have appealed to Uefa (if we had known)," said Kloczower.

"Of course we are very disappointed. A decision on what happens now is open."

Kloczower insisted that they would leave Uefa to deal with Frei, and they would hope he continues to play international football after he returns from any ban received.

"We didn't take a decision now because first we wanted to inform the public," he added.

"I think he will be punished by Uefa and we hope that after his punishment he will come back.

"The Swiss national team needs players like Alexander Frei."