A PREMIERSHIP footballer is to be prosecuted for allegedly spitting at a fan at a match in the North-East.

The Northern Echo can reveal that Bolton's on-loan striker El Hadji Diouf will face court action over an incident at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough five months ago.

News of the prosecution comes a day after it emerged that Newcastle stars Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer were quizzed about their infamous on-field fight.

The England internationals could face public order charges for their brawl on the pitch during the game against Aston Villa at St James' Park two weeks ago.

Northumbria Police said yesterday that officers questioned the pair, and a file on the case was being prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a decision to be made on charges.

The CPS has been considering charges against Diouf since last November, when a Middlesbrough fan claimed he spat at him during a game against Bolton.

It is alleged the 23-year-old Senagalese international, who is being served a summons on a charge of disorderly conduct, spat a mouthful of drink into the crowd when he was substituted.

A decision on the file was made by prosecutors yesterday. A spokeswoman for the CPS said: "Proceedings have been issued and it is in the court system now."

It is not known how long it will take for the CPS to make a decision on the brawl involving Bowyer and Dyer, who were both sent off during the 3-0 defeat.

Bowyer, 28, was banned for four games and fined six weeks' wages - £210,000 - while Dyer, 26, was banned for three matches.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Two people involved in an incident on the pitch at St James' Park on April 2 were interviewed today under caution by police officers. A file is now being prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service."