The Football Association could not have retrospectively punished Wayne Rooney for his alleged elbow on Wigan's James McCarthy, a top official has confirmed.
Referee Mark Clattenburg awarded a free-kick to Wigan after the incident but has been criticised since for not even issuing Rooney with a yellow card. But FA general secretary Alex Horne has claimed there is no leeway to act in cases like the Rooney incident because of the way FIFA regulations are currently written.
"I check this regulation with the FIFA executive and with other national associations regularly," Horne told BBC Radio Five's Sportsweek programme. "We are clear as far as FIFA regulations are currently written that if the incident has been seen by the referee we can't review."
Horne added: "If you review everything you begin to undermine the referee."
Horne also made it clear the FA place high importance upon respect for the referee.
He said: "Refereeing is hugely important for us.
"It's very high on our agenda that referees are respected. No referee, no game."