Unbelievable: no action over Balotelli tackle
MANCHESTER, England ● Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will not face disciplinary action over a studs-up challenge on Arsenal’s Alex Song, the Football Association have confirmed.
The governing body say they cannot take retrospective action because the incident was seen by at least one of the four match officials in City’s 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
The decision still leaves Balotelli facing a three-match suspension for his sending off for two unrelated bookings in the same game.
A statement from the FA read: “Retrospective action in relation to the incident involving Mario Balotelli of Manchester City and Alex Song of Arsenal, which occurred in the 20th minute of Sunday’s game, will not be taken.
“Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge. Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the match officials saw the players coming together.”
It was reported that Balotelli could have faced a suspension of up to nine games following the incidents on Sunday had the FA taken action over the Song incident. That is because it would have counted as a fourth red card of the season for the 21-year-old.
Balotelli was sent off at Liverpool in November and was then was hit with a retrospective four-match ban for stamping on Tottenham’s Scott Parker in January.
Referee Martin Atkinson missed his challenge on Song on Sunday but later dismissed him for two bookable fouls on Bacary Sagna.
Balotelli could now be available for City’s final three Premier League games of the season but his future at the club remains uncertain, after manager Roberto Mancini said he would “probably” sell the player in the summer following a long line of controversial incidents involving the forward.