Date:Monday February 2 2009
'The DVD evidence does not itself show whether or not Evra actually struck Bethell. Evra denies it but we accept Bethell`s evidence that he was struck on or near his right ear and it was clearly Evra who struck him.'
The above was part of the report that appeared on the FA's website after they decided to ban Patrice Evra for four games for an alleged attack on a Chelsea groundsman. The FA admitted they had no proof but believed the Chelsea man and banned Evra, questioning the honesty and integrity of the members of the United staff who had given testimony.
Mere weeks later Jose Bosingwa of Chelsea kicks Yossi Benayoun in the back in front of the linesman. Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted it was worthy of a red card, Bosingwa apologised - everyone expected at least a three-game ban as it was such a classic case of violent conduct that even the FA can't find another angle.
Yet it seems they did. Clueless Mike Riley confirmed that his assistant Mo Matadar saw the incident (would have been difficult to miss, with a little bad luck it could have been his back which ends up sore) but decided to take no action.
So, the officials were aware of the incident but did not act. In terms of FIFA rules, it's game over, no retrospective action is possible. The moral of the story? Mundane things such as proof and rules are irrelevant for the English FA and its horrible referees. They handed out a four-match ban for an incident that's never been proved and took no further action after a disgraceful foul which was witnessed by millions all over the planet. Unbelievable.
Date:Monday February 2 2009
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