Mendes asks for right punishment for Thatcher foul

August 27, 2006

LONDON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Portsmouth's Pedro Mendes called on Saturday for the right punishment for Ben Thatcher but said he would not take personal action over the nasty foul by the Manchester City defender that knocked him cold in midweek.

'I can confirm that I will not be taking any personal action against Ben Thatcher,' the Portugal midfielder said in a statement posted on the Portsmouth Web site the day after Thatcher was charged with serious foul play by the FA.

'I have received a written apology from him. As far as I'm concerned the personal matter between us is now closed and I just want to fully recover and move on,' he said referring to Wednesday's incident for which Thatcher was only booked.

Mendes added, however, that he was ' aware that the FA have charged the player for the nature of the challenge and I really hope that they will make the right decision on his punishment.

'I only saw TV replays on Thursday night and I was shocked by what I saw,' said Mendes, who was taken to hospital after the incident.

Thatcher crashed elbow first into Mendes early in the second half of Wednesday's match as both players chased a ball over the touchline. Mendes was knocked unconscious and suffered a seizure.

'I think football's governing bodies need to do everything within their power to ensure this kind of foul play is eradicated from football,' he said.

Mendes said he was still undergoing scans and tests and did not know when he would be allowed to resume training.

Thatcher was suspended by City on Friday pending the results of their internal investigation into the incident and Greater Manchester police are also investigating the challenge.