Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle vow to tackle FA over rules

By Martin Hardy

Newcastle United have vowed to challenge the Football Association's rules on retrospective action after Wigan Athletic's Callum McManaman escaped any punishment for the foul which injured Massadio Haïdara on Sunday. To add to their anger, Newcastle assistant manager John Carver has been charged by the FA for misconduct for his part in a half-time fracas.


The FA was always limited in its options if any of the match officials had seen the incident. Referee Mark Halsey had already admitted to Alan Pardew that he had not seen the tackle because the Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had run across his line of vision.

That lifted Newcastle hopes of a retrospective punishment for serious foul play. However, as was reported in Tuesday's Independent, if the referee's assistant on the far side of the field, Matthew Wilkes, had seen the challenge, McManaman would not be punished, and that was confirmed in the FA's report.

"In the case of McManaman, it has been confirmed that at least one of the match officials saw the coming together, though not the full extent of the challenge," the report read. "In these circumstances retrospective action cannot be taken."

Newcastle then released a 500-word statement through their managing director Derek Llambias, expressing their frustration at the finding.

"It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose," the statement read.

"Whilst we understand that the current procedures give the FA limited options, it cannot be correct that the most serious offences – those which have the potential to cause another player serious harm – can go unpunished, even if the original incident was seen by match officials. We will now be making a strong representation to the FA and the Premier League to see how a more appropriate, fair and even-handed disciplinary process can be introduced at the earliest opportunity to prevent incidents of this nature going unpunished in the future.

"There has been significant public reaction from media, industry figures and supporters to the tackle, in particular comments made by Wigan's owner Dave Whelan.

"I have the greatest respect for Dave, and am also aware that Dave's career was cut short due to injury. I am therefore disappointed and surprised by the comments he made, in particular his assertion that the tackle by Callum McManaman 'was a fair challenge'."

To The extent of Haïdara's injury is still to be revealed, because of the swelling around the injury.

Carver and Wigan coach Graham Barrow clashed at half-time following the challenge. Both men were sent to the stands and they have until 4pm on Friday to respond to the FA's charge.

McManaman has closed down his Twitter account after receiving abusive tweets.

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