Manchester City news

Balotelli escapes action

April 10, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

The Football Association will not take any action against Mario Balotelli for his challenge on Alex Song during Manchester City's 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday.

Martin Atkinson, Mario Balotelli
PA PhotosAt least one member of the refereeing team on Sunday witnessed Mario Balotelli's tackle on Alex Song

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Referee Martin Atkinson did not award a free-kick when Balotelli made a knee-high challenge on Song in the first half at Emirates Stadium, but it has now been confirmed that at least one of the officials did see the incident at the time and therefore no retrospective action can be taken.

An FA statement read: "Retrospective action in relation to the incident involving Mario Balotelli of Manchester City and Alex Song of Arsenal, which occurred in the 20th minute of Sunday's game, will not be taken.

"Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge.

"Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the Match Officials saw the players coming together. The normal scenarios in which retrospective action is taken are for 'off the ball' incidents.

"Retrospective action was introduced for off the ball incidents where there was no contest for possession and could not be deemed to be re-refereeing an incident.

"In agreement with FIFA, this is how 'not seen' incidents are dealt with retrospectively in England. It is a policy that is agreed with all football stakeholders."

Balotelli is preparing to serve a three-match ban after being sent off in the dying stages of the game against Arsenal. Had he been issued a retrospective red card for the challenge on Song, he would have been suspended for a total of nine matches.