Balotelli set to accept four-match ban as City brand Parker 'stamp' appeal 'futile'
Manchester City are ready to accept Mario Balotelli's four-match ban for violent conduct after assistant manager David Platt suggested an appeal would be 'futile'.
The controversial Italian striker appeared to stamp on Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker's head during Sunday's 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium – before his last-minute penalty winner kept City three points clear of the Barclays Premier League.
Platt confirmed no talks had taken
place amongst the City hierarchy and a final decision would not be made
until all relevant parties had an input into discussions.
In the spotlight: Mario Balotelli leaves training on Monday afternoon
However, whilst City do have
grievances over the manner in which Balotelli's alleged stamp on Scott
Parker has been dealt with, Platt accepted the slow-motion pictures 'do
not look good'.
'We are likely to be without a player for four games,' said Platt, who again appeared in place of manager Roberto Mancini at the club's training ground press conference on Tuesday morning.
'We found out the information last night and we have not sat down as a group to discuss it.
'But I don't think anybody thought we would win an appeal with Vincent Kompany, even though the majority of people didn't feel he deserved a red card or a four-match ban. It shows the futility of an appeal sometimes.
'This looks poor when you slow it down.'
Balotelli would become the second
Manchester City player to incur a four-match ban this month. He has
until 6pm on Wednesday to respond to a charge of violent conduct.
Stamp it out: Balotelli clashes with Parker and later scored the winner
It carries a three-match suspension
but the volatile Italian striker would serve an extra game because of
his dismissal at Liverpool in November.
City skipper Vincent Kompany is still
banned after receiving the same punishment a fortnight ago for his
second red card of the season.
If Balotelli accepts the charge –
which appears likely now – he will miss a return to Anfield in the
Carling Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday night and league games
against Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa.
Should he contest it, he can play
against Liverpool but risks being banned for the home League game
against Blackburn instead when the case goes before a disciplinary
What annoys City is that they believe referee Howard Webb got a good enough view of it at the time to reach a decision, opted to do nothing, but then allowed the FA to take control0.
'It seems inconsistent,' said Platt.
'I have seen it from an angle where I can think the referee saw it live, like I did.
'Other people saw it live and didn't react, nobody, not one of the Tottenham players or staff. The referee didn't react live. It is when you slow it down that all the reactions come.
'I don't know what has gone on but there seems a huge inconsistency in refereeing matches on a Monday morning.
'Shouldn't you revisit everything that has happened over the weekend'
Flashpoint: Balotelli stumbles backwards over Parker…
…. his foot connects with the Spurs midfielder's head…
…and then appears to stamp down with some force
The charge came from the Football
Association after referee Howard Webb indicated he would have shown a
straight red had he seen the incident.
With Parker on the floor after
blocking Balotelli’s shot, the City player caught his opponent in the
face with his left leg and then appeared to bring his right foot down on
the midfielder’s head.
PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle backed
any punishment if the 21-year-old, who has three red cards and 15
yellows in his 47 games for City, is found guilty.
'It’s not proven what his intentions
were, but if it’s shown that he did purposefully stamp that’s something
we want eradicated,' said Carlisle.
'You’re going all out to win, you have the aggression, but you know where to draw the line.'
Great Scott: Parker looks battered and bruised after the confrontation
On Sky on Sunday, pundit Graeme Souness described Balotelli as “a car
Balotelli was branded 'stupid' by Mancini following the second of those, against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League last season.
However, the City boss was more
forgiving when he was dismissed for two debatable yellow cards during a
Premier League meeting with Liverpool at Anfield in November.
Paying the penalty: Balotelli won the spot kick and converted the opportunity to take all three points for City
There have been other off-field
incidents that have sometimes even led to City supporters questioning
Balotelli's contribution, not least the incident in October when fire
crews were called to his house in Cheshire when he attempted to set off
fireworks in his bathroom.
Platt confirmed he had been asked to
address the media by Roberto Mancini in an effort to avoid
the Italian's difficulty with the nuances of the English language
further fuelling an already delicate situation.
'He spoke to me last night and asked me to do it,' said Platt.
Cool, calm, collected: Balotelli celebrates his winner in his usual style
'A lot of words needed saying and we are in a cauldron where a half phrase can become bigger.
'Whatever I say today can get topped
and tailed and, in some quarters, won't be reported in the manner I have
said it, and I am not talking about the people who are here, but those
who are not.'
There was better news for City with the FA deciding not to take action against Joleon Lescott over a clash with Younes Kaboul.