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Chelsea furious as Ashley Barnes tackle escapes penalty


Outrage: Nemanja Matic was sent off for shoving Barnes

Outrage: Nemanja Matic was sent off for shoving Barnes

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Outrage: Nemanja Matic was sent off for shoving Barnes

Chelsea are understood to be furious at the Football Association's decision not to punish Burnley's Ashley Barnes retrospectively for his foul on Nemanja Matic, with the club hierarchy fully behind Jose Mourinho's no-holds-barred verdict on Sky Sports on Sunday.

The Chelsea manager was outraged at the FA's decision yesterday that there will be no further action against Barnes, whose studs-up foul on Matic prompted the reaction that saw the Serbian midfielder dismissed on Saturday.

Mourinho made a rare appearance on the Goals On Sunday show where he described the challenge as "criminal" and a potential career-ending tackle.

The Chelsea hierarchy believe that the FA approach to bad challenges that go unseen by the referee is no longer fit for purpose with striker Diego Costa having been given a three-match ban this month for stamping on Liverpool's Emre Can.

They also cite the case of midfielder Ramires in April who was given a four-match ban - the extra game because of a previous red card - for an off-the-ball cuff to the head of Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson.

In the case of obvious fouls in Premier League games that have gone unpunished, the FA review the video footage and ask the match referee whether he saw the incident.

If the referee says that he did not, as was the case with Costa and Ramires, then the decision goes to the "not-seen" committee, made up of former referees, who decide what the punishment should have been.

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The FA said that Martin Atkinson, the official at the game on Saturday, had seen the incident and therefore they could not review the tackle.

In a series of tweets on their official feed, the FA posted: "Retrospective action introduced as deterrent for 'off the ball incidents' (e.g. kicks, stamps etc.) committed out of sight of officials."

They added: "Whole game in agreement that, in vast majority of cases, match officials are best-placed to deal with incidents to avoid re-refereeing."

In private, the FA argue that while the system is not perfect it is nonetheless consistent in using the match official as the key decision maker on whether incidents should be reviewed.

Chelsea believe that even Barnes' reaction to the challenge was telling.

Had it been an accident, as manager Sean Dyche later claimed, then the club say his natural reaction should have been to apologise to Matic.

The club have appealed the three-match ban for Matic for his subsequent shove on Barnes.

They are not appealing the fact that it was a red card, rather they have made the case that the standard three-match tariff is excessive in this instance.

The hope is that the FA will take into consideration the nature of Barnes' challenge and reduce Matic's ban to a single game - although he would still miss the Capital One Cup final.

Barnes provoked quite a reaction in the Chelsea dressing room after the game having left his mark on both Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry in separate challenges.

The final decision by Mourinho to appear on Goals On Sunday was made at 8.30pm on the Saturday night when he decided to take up an offer from Chris Kamara to be a guest on the show.

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