Tuesday 20 February 2018

Whelan in clear over challenge on Garcia

Stoke City 0 Manchester City 1 John Percy at the Britannia Stadium

Glenn Whelan will escape punishment from the English FA for the two-footed stamp on Javi Garcia that was unseen by referee Howard Webb.

Whelan's ugly challenge on Garcia does not come under the FA's remit for a retrospective charge and the Stoke midfielder will not face an investigation, even though the Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry and Clarke Carlisle, the Professional Footballers' Association chairman, suggested that action would be taken.

Webb and his officials were criticised for not having a clear view of the tackle, which happened early in the second half, and did not even caution Whelan or award a free-kick.

The FA can only take action after games for off-the-ball incidents and Webb, who was only yards away from the challenge, is alleged to have told players that he did not have "the right angle" to make a judgment.

Carlisle, speaking on ITV's FA Cup highlights programme, said Whelan can expect action but there will be no sanctions. Whelan fears the FA's new hard-line stance on tackling is in danger of damaging the competitive nature of the game.

"I've gone in for the challenge and I don't think I tried to be dirty but if it looks that way on TV then I'll have to hold my hands up," he said.

"I don't think I caught him as much as he was rolling about. Obviously he's felt it so you have to take that. I've caught him harder than I thought.

"Hopefully nothing will happen. People have talked about tackling going out of the game, but it's only going out of the game because we're not allowing it. If you're getting pulled up on little things every week then people will stop.

"It's the English game, the old-fashioned game, and that's what the Premier League is so good for. There is massive pressure on the referees from the media and the people they're accountable to. Hopefully it (tackling) can stay in the game and people just get on with it."


This tie was only notable for the fact that Pablo Zabaleta's 85th-minute goal secured Manchester City their first win at the Britannia Stadium since 1999. It was against Stoke that Mancini claimed the pivotal moment in his tenure, with the FA Cup final victory in 2011.

Barry said: "We've won six games in a row and that shows the mentality we've got. The FA Cup was always a priority but with no European football, it's going to be a massive trophy for us if we can get to Wembley."

The only disappointment for Mancini was the calf injury to captain Vincent Kompany, who will miss tomorrow's trip to QPR ( © Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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