SPIT’S official then - projecting goz from your gob is the most heinous crime in football.

Well, that’s what any observer from anywhere other than planet football might well believe to be the case given the tsunami of verdicts on “Gob on the Tyne”, as one national newspaper memorably labelled the moist collision between Newcastle forward Papiss Cisse and Manchester United defender Jonny Evans at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

The Spitgate at Gallowgate episode jettisoned a flood of com - plaints and outrage from players, former players, pundits and the football-loving public that to emit liquid from one’s mouth was the lowest of the low, the dirtiest of the dirty, the foulest of the foul.

Oh, do me a favour.

In a week when one of the game’s most talented titans, Dave Mackay, died and when the FA launched a campaign to tackle - at last - the disgusting denigration of women wherever they are involved in football, then I’d venture there are worse spectres besmirching the sport.

First off, let’s return to the midweek melee that launched a maelstrom of fury. Cisse and Evans tangled near the halfway line in the sort of tussle that was only missing a couple of handbags. However, among the flailing legs it was alleged that both protagonists spat at each other.

Within a few hours both were charged by the FA. Senegal striker Cisse admitted the spitting allegation levelled against him and now faces a playing ban which could span seven games. Evans categorically claimed innocence, a tack taken up vigorously by his manager Louis Van Gaal.

Cisse issued a statement, which said: “I have apologies to make to a lot of people. Firstly to my team-mates and to our supporters, secondly to Jonny Evans, and thirdly to every football fan who saw the incident between myself and Jonny.

“I reacted to something I found very unpleasant.”

In his statement, Northern Ireland international Evans declared: “I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse. I was totally unaware of any spitting incident and had assumed that the issue at the time was with the challenge and his attempted retaliation to the tackle from the floor.”

The subsequent ocean of opprobrium is surely an over-reaction fuelled by recollections of the Frank Rijkaard ejection of spit at Rudi Voeller in an international duel between Holland and Germany, and also El Hadj Diouf’s gob at a Celtic fan while disgracing the shirt of Liverpool.

Okay, spitting at any one is despicable and well out of order.

But unless the spitter is afflicted by some hideous fluid-transferred fatal disease, then it’s not genuinely going to end in serious damage.

A dangerously pointed elbow will definitely cause harm when in collision with another player. A butt of the head too will prompt injury, while reckless, wild tackling might well result in grave damage.

But spit? Nope - and given that most of the thrilling fields of football across the globe are deluged by the very stuff every time a game is played then I do not really understand all the mucus fuss.

Referring to wild challenges, the sad news of the death of Hearts, Scotland, Spurs and Derby County legend Dave Mackay was accompanied in many pages by the photograph of an irate Sottish captain almost holding aloft Scots’ team-mate and Leeds maestro Billy Bremner off the turf by the scruff of the neck.

A genuine supernova of the European game, Mackay revealed how he loathed that iconic image fearing it showed him to be a bully when his anger was directed at Bremner because he had kicked Mackay on the precise point where his leg had been fractured not once, but twice.

Mackay was a hard as nails half-back, but blessed with sublime skill to match his competitive spirit and power with little of a malicious bone in his barrel-chested body. He would not have tolerated spitting but somehow I do not think he would have flown into such a rage had it been perpetrated on him.

Still the rage boils at the rising saliva count.

But just re-imagine - it isn’t hard to do - a twist on the phrase “get your spit out for the lads” and you should realise how disgraceful, intimidating and horrendous attending a football match is for any female referee, lines-woman, physio, St John Ambulance volunteer, or steward.

Football has made great play about its desire to eradicate racism and homophobia. But just as they do not have a place in the modern game, then so the turnstiles should be slammed shut on sexism.

Just this week the BBC broadcast recordings of fans at Manchester United and Manchester City chanting and shouting abuse at Chelsea club doctor Eva Carneiro, prompting FA board member Heather Rabbatts to urge supporters to notify officials if they witness such behaviour.

Campaign group Women In Football yesterday launched an anti-sexism social media drive, contacting all 92 Premier League and Football League clubs and asking them to champion female members of staff in their matchday programmes ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.

Now that’s something to get worked up about.