Emmanuel Adebayor is facing up to derby day despair and a four-match ban after losing his cool against former club Arsenal on Saturday.
The Manchester City striker bagged a goal against his ex-team-mates — his fourth strike in as many league games — before running the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of furious Gunners fans. He was instantly booked for his inflammatory goal celebration which only added to the intensity of occasion after his shocking challenge on Robin van Persie resulted in the Dutch striker nursing a bloodied face.
The apparent stamp will earn an FA charge of violent conduct this week and the £25million forward is also set to face a separate charge for his ill-advised celebration, leading to an overall ban of at least four matches.
FA chief executive Ian Watmore confirmed yesterday they would “take a good close look” at both incidents. The FA's disciplinary panel have the power to take additional action, atfer referee Mark Clattenburg's apparent failure to notice the clash and Adebayor's availability for Sunday's Manchester derby at Old Trafford is now in serious doubt.
Adebayor may have claimed his innocence afterwards with respect to the Van Persie incident but there appeared a definite lunge.
While City boss Mark Hughes has called for his hitman to be cut some slack but Watmore said: “I was pretty unimpressed really.
“The problems between the Arsenal fans and Adebayor are well documented, and he ran the whole length of the field to celebrate, so I think we're going to have a good close look at that one.”
A fuming Van Persie was clearly in no mood to cut Adebayor any slack either.
“He set out to hurt me and I feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury,” said Van Persie, who labelled it a “mindless and malicious stamp”.
“The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made.
“He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful.”
Van Persie had little doubt over the intent of Adebayor's challenge, which he labelled "malicious".
Although some ex-professionals, including Gareth Southgate and Roy Keane, have sympathy for the former Gunners forward over his goal celebration, most were appalled by his tackle on the Dutchman.
TV replays showed a second movement downwards as Adebayor moved his feet following what he felt was a dangerous tackle by Van Persie.
Clattenburg believes he was right in waving play on for the initial tackle, which is why Van Persie will not face any action.
City boss Mark Hughes felt the official had a good enough view of the entire incident to make the correct decision.
Like the vast majority in the stadium though, Clattenburg did not get a proper look, which is why he has informed the FA of the decision he would have taken.
If found guilty, Adebayor will be suspended from Sunday's Manchester derby at Old Trafford - for which Robinho is already out and Carlos Tevez is a major doubt - plus a Carling Cup tie with Fulham and a Premier League encounter with West Ham on September 28.
The FA would then need to set up a disciplinary panel to hear the second case, which could bring anything up to an additional three-match suspension.
Adebayor will hope for leniency in that matter though, given the aggravation he received from the Arsenal supporters.
The FA have been in touch with Greater Manchester Police, plus City and Arsenal on that matter though and will push for banning orders for supporters involved in particularly unpleasant scenes.
"We have asked the GMP and the clubs to identify those supporters involved in any violent and aggravating behaviour. The FA would like to see anyone found guilty of such behaviour face action through the legal system and banning orders from football," continued the statement.
"The FA would like to thank the Manchester City FC stewards for the way they managed a very difficult situation and to pass on sincere best wishes to the steward who was injured during the game.
"We will continue to work with the LMA and PFA in particular to help remind players of their responsibilities, especially in highly charged situations."