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Monday, April 18, 2011
United and City unlikely to face action

ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester City and Manchester United are unlikely to face any punishment for the fracas that blighted the end of their FA Cup semi final at Wembley.

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Mario Balotelli incensed Rio Ferdinand upon the final whistle by thrusting the badge on his shirt towards the end where United's fans were housed.

Ferdinand and Anderson took exception to Balotelli's gesture and the players had to be pulled apart by City manager Roberto Mancini and coach David Platt. The FA are due to study the footage on Monday but they are not likely to take any action.

Ferdinand used his Twitter account to attack Balotelli on Sunday, saying: "If u score a goal+give a bit to opposing fans I kind of accept that but at the final whistle go to your own fans+enjoy it not opposing fans.''

But he added of his own behaviour: "If I offended anyone, I apologise, emotions obviously running high.''

Balotelli has been at the centre of several controversies during his career but City boss Roberto Mancini said of the incident: "I didn't see it. I want to wait because every time, 'It's Balotelli's fault'.''

When events were described to him, Mancini joked: "We can put him in jail? Next week, we can put him in jail for this. I am sorry that people will talk about what happened after the match. Nothing big happened.''

Ferdinand's team-mate Edwin van der Sar refused to become embroiled in the row over Balotelli's conduct, saying: "He misunderstood which side of the stadium he needed to go to thank the supporters.

"Maybe in Italy they do things differently. I prefer to talk about football. It is much more important than this kind of thing.''

City coach Platt also praised the maturity shown by former Inter Milan striker Balotelli during the game. "His performance on the pitch yesterday showed a great deal more maturity, the scenes at the final whistle should not have happened but let's not let that mar what was a great day for us,'' he said.

"He is only young and he can't stay out of the headlines and a lot is said about that. Perhaps he shouldn't have done what he did in terms of going over to the Man United fans and it isn't a case of defending him, it was something and nothing at the final whistle.''

Toure scored the winning goal seven minutes into the second half - and dedicated the goal to his brother Kolo, who is currently banned after failing a drugs test. He said: "I will dedicate the goal to my brother and the City fans.

"I am very sad for my brother. He obviously wanted to play but every time I speak with him he's a strong guy. He's the most important ­person in my life. He has helped us this week and he seems very calm. I am very happy. To win against our big rivals is fantastic. I'm very happy. Happy for the club and for the fans.

"The fans are still waiting for a cup. They have waited a lot of time. We know we have to be strong and the second step is the final. We want to get qualification for the Champions League next season - that's the target of the boss and the president. First we need to get this trophy. That's why the club bought the big players."




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