Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Haidara: McManaman decision hard to take

Massadio Haidara, pictured, is baffled by the FA's decision not to discipline Callum McManaman
Massadio Haidara, pictured, is baffled by the FA's decision not to discipline Callum McManaman

Massadio Haidara has condemned as "ridiculous" the Football Association's decision not to take retrospective action over Callum McManaman's horror tackle at the DW Stadium on Sunday.

The Newcastle player was stretchered off with a serious-looking knee injury following the incident and is still waiting to discover the extent of the damage. And while Haidara insists he bears McManaman no ill will over the incident, he cannot understand why the Wigan player will not be punished due to it being seen by at least one match official.

Haidara told Le Parisien: "It's tough to take. I don't understand why. He could have ended my career and ruined my whole life and he will play again before me - ridiculous!"

He added: "You must protect players. This type of tackle cannot be condoned in football. You have to take all measures to ban these sorts of things from the game. It spoils the game. The authorities must take action."

Haidara admitted he feared the worst immediately after the challenge in the first half of the Magpies' 2-1 defeat.

He added: "At the time I was very angry. I thought he'd ended my career. Now I know I escaped a serious injury, I have taken time to stand back from it and I am not angry.

"I simply hope it will serve as a lesson for him and the next time he will think twice before making a tackle like that. I hope when he watched it back he told himself that wasn't who he really was."

While McManaman will escape retrospective punishment, Newcastle assistant manager John Carver and Wigan assistant coach Graham Barrow have been charged with misconduct by the FA after they clashed following the incident.

And Wigan chairman Dave Whelan sparked a war of words between the two clubs by claiming McManaman "got the ball clean as a whistle".

Haidara added: "I understand he (Whelan) wants to defend his own player but I believe fairness and honesty must be respected. You simply need to see the images and photos to understand. People will have their own opinion, of course, and I don't wish to cause a controversy. I am simply relieved to have escaped the worst."

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