Tag Archives: conduct

Inter Milan fined 38,000 by UEFA after fans racially abuse Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor

Inter fined 38,000 after racial abuse of Spurs' Adebayor during Europa League tie

PUBLISHED:

16:17 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:18 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Inter Milan have been fined 45,000 euros (around 37,900) for 'the improper conduct of their fans' during the Europa League tie against Tottenham on March 14 in which striker Emmanuel Adebayor was racially abused.

Adebayor, who scored in the second leg tie in the San Siro as Tottenham progressed on away goals, and his team-mates were the victims of abuse by Inter fans waving an inflatable banana.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas implored UEFA to act after the match, which Spurs lost 4-1, pointing out Inter's black record for such incidents.

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Emmanuel Adebayor scores for Tottenham against Inter Milan

Inter were fined only 43,000 by Serie A officials after former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused during February's Milan derby and Villas-Boas pleaded with UEFA to hand out a more severe punishment this time.

Earlier in the season Lazio were also fined for racist chanting in their Group J tie at White Hart Lane in September and were reprimanded again for racist behaviour in November's return game.

More to follow..

Luis Suarez latest Liverpool will NOT appeal ten-match ban for bite

Suarez will NOT appeal 10-match FA ban for biting Ivanovic… and it's his own decision

PUBLISHED:

12:40 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Luis Suarez will not appeal the 10-match ban handed to him by the FA for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez had until midday today to lodge an appeal, with the club reportedly leaving the decision to the Uruguayan himself.

The 26-year-old had already accepted the three-match suspension for violent conduct, but will not contest the additional punishment.

Scroll down for video of Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

Appeal: Suarez has decided to fight against the 10-match ban he was handed by the Football Association

A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission upheld The FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will now serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three.

The suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool's next ten domestic first-team fixtures.

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Prime Minister David Cameron said today that Suarez's bite on Ivanovic set an 'appalling example' to his seven-year-old son.

Cameron told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that his intervention in the matter was merely that of a concerned father.

'I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game,' he said.

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

'I've got a seven-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country.'

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers yesterday accused the FA of double standards and throwing Suarez out with the ‘garbage’.

Rodgers spoke publicly
yesterday for the first time since Suarez was banned for 10 games for
biting Ivanovic.

And he did not hold back,
insisting the punishment was ‘not right’ and ‘too severe’.

Goalkeeper
Pepe Reina went even further, saying it was ‘absurd, out of proportion
and unfair’ and that the authorities had ‘got it in for Luis’.

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

Brendan Rodgers 'shocked' by length of Suarez ban

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Rodgers believes the three-person Independent Regulatory Committee that imposed the ban were prejudiced by the fact the FA had already announced they considered the offence worthy of more than a three-match ban.

Further to that, he claimed the FA’s disciplinary procedures were inconsistent and said he was mystified by the Prime Minister’s decision to enter the debate.

Rodgers said: ‘Luis has not let me down one bit. He is a player who fell well below the standards of this football club but that doesn’t mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened from a lot of people these last few days.

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

In the mix: Suarez looked in high spirits during this afternoon's training session on Merseyside

‘I certainly won’t be prepared to do
that. I don’t believe the sanction fits with what he did. There’s no
doubt if you have those high-profile figures making those sorts of
statements, there will be a bias.

‘It’s human nature. If you have people reading and listening to things,
when they sit down to talk about it supposedly for the first time,
people would argue whether they already had a decision in their minds.
That process, for me, would need to change.

‘You have an FA council member, an FA county representative and an
ex-player, so I don’t know how it is independent. That has to be looked
at and this is probably not the first time it’s been said.

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

‘I felt Luis would maybe get more than three games. But we had hoped
there would be something in there that would allow him a greater
opportunity to rehabilitate. The bigger thing in all of this is to try
to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Rodgers made a clumsy analogy yesterday in comparing Suarez’s moment of madness to a tennis player smashing his racket.

But he argued that the length of the punishment was unfair in comparison
to two similar cases in 2006; one saw Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe escape
punishment for biting West Ham’s Javier Mascherano, while the other saw
Chester’s Sean Hessey receive five matches for biting Stockport’s Liam
Dickinson.

‘I feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the
incident,’ Rodgers said. ‘That is my underlying feeling. There was
euphoria around the time that it happened. Everyone has their opinion.
That’s fine. But when you come away and assess it in the cold light of
day, it was violent conduct.’

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

JAMIE CARRAGHER'S VERDICT

CLICK HERE: Luis was wrong, but before we hound him out let's remember other Liverpool legends were not exactly saints

Again, of course, there is a flaw in Rodgers’ argument. The FA stated
their case that a three-game ban for Suarez was insufficient on the same
day it was revealed Suarez felt three games was ample.

Both sides
stated their positions and it was then left to the independent committee
to make a decision.

The committee can take into consideration past misdemeanours and the
fact Suarez had been banned for 10 games in his Liverpool career, not to
mention his seven-match suspension at Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven’s
Otman Bakkal, would have counted against him.

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

The FA have also not always been successful in arguing for longer
suspensions. In January, an independent panel decided a three-game ban
for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was sufficient after he tangled with a
Swansea ball boy. On that occasion the FA had called for a longer ban,
too.

Pardew baffled by FA action

Alan Pardew has branded the FA’s disciplinary system flawed and wants the organisation’s decisions to be more consistent.

The Newcastle manager hit out after Wigan’s Callum McManaman escaped a ban for his horror challenge on Toon defender Massadio Hadaira but Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games after biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.

‘I don’t think that’s reasonable,’ Pardew said. ‘That is a flaw in the system. All Premier League managers are looking for that committee to give us the answers as to why. You’re always going to have grey areas when it comes to discipline and fines but at least have some consistency. It’s consistency of punishments we’re looking for.

‘The FA need to answer why it was 10 games for Suarez. It’s interesting why it was.’

Suarez serves the first game of his ban when Liverpool play at Newcastle on Saturday.

Liverpool have promised to stand by Suarez, regardless of whether he
appeals, but they are aware his ban could be increased at a new hearing.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann said yesterday Suarez should
‘accept it and get on with it’.

Rodgers, in a club suit at the Melwood training ground rather than his
customary tracksuit, has spoken several times with Suarez and his agent,
Pere Guardiola, in recent days. There will be more discussions and
Suarez will train as normal. But Rodgers admitted the club’s greatest
asset may consider whether he wants to continue playing in England.

‘This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard,’ said
Rodgers. ‘His passions in life are his family and Liverpool Football
Club. It is part of his make-up, you can’t change that. But he is trying
to adapt the traits he has grown up with to the culture here.

‘Each time he makes a step forward we beat him with a stick and beat him
down. I can understand if he felt like that in a moment of reflection.

‘Am I worried he will knock on my door I am not thinking about that. I
can guide him, like I’ve done this year, and will tell him when he’s
done wrong. We will plan for the future with Luis. There is no other
thought. Luis is very much a player I believe will be here.’

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with
Suarez but Rodgers added: ‘I’ve had a lot of discussions with Pere
Guardiola that have been very strong. They are very happy with what the
club has done, not only to protect the player but to support him.

‘The objective is to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that is at the forefront of our minds.’

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

VIDEO Liverpool's Managing Director on Suarez controversy

Liverpool to stand by Suarez

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Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

It's not the first time Suarez has used his teeth

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OTHER SUAREZ CONTROVERSIES

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.

Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined 40,000.

December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.

October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that 'divers' such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.

January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.

April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but
escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and
scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they
draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and
charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match
ban by an independent regulatory commission.

Luis Suarez could be punished by FIFA for punch on Gonzalo Jara

Suarez waiting to hear from FIFA over potential punishment for punching Jara

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

22:49 GMT, 27 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:32 GMT, 27 March 2013

FIFA will decide whether to punish Luis Suarez once they have received the referee's report from Uruguay's clash with Chile.

The Liverpool striker was caught on television throwing a punch at Chile's Gonzalo Jara but Nestor Pitana, the match official, took no action, having spoken with the pair after they had jostled at a corner.

If found guilty of violent conduct, Suarez would face a suspension but FIFA will not make any decisions until they have received all the necessary paperwork.

Incident: Luis Suarez hit Gonzalo Jara in the face

Incident: Luis Suarez hit Gonzalo Jara in the face

Banned: Suarez will already serve a suspension for accumulated yellow cards

Banned: Suarez will already serve a suspension for accumulated yellow cards

A FIFA spokesman said: 'We are still collecting all the post-match reports, as the referees have 24 hours to file them. Based on the mentioned reports, FIFA will then act accordingly.'

Suarez is already facing an international suspension after he was booked late in the game against Chile for dissent. He will miss Urugay's next qualifier against Venezuela in June, which works in Liverpool's favour as he will be able to have a proper break before pre-season training in July.

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has underlined the importance of Liverpool's final nine games in the Barclays Premier League when he said the club 'needs' European football to preserve their reputation.

We need this: Jamie Carragher (right) says Liverpool must regain European football

We need this: Jamie Carragher (right) says Liverpool must regain European football

Carragher, who is fit for Sunday's trip to Aston Villa after missing the 3-1 defeat at Southampton with a calf problem, said: 'Liverpool is synonymous with European football. We are a big name in European football and we always need to be there.

'The manager (Brendan Rodgers) will have been brooding since the defeat at Southampton and this game at Villa is very important.'

Wilfried Zaha will have FA hearing after he and Ian Holloway admit charges

Zaha set for FA showdown while Holloway hit with 2k fine after both admit charges

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

17:40 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:43 GMT, 15 March 2013

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway and attacker Wilfried Zaha have both admitted FA charges for improper conduct.

Zaha, who is on loan from Manchester United after signing for them in January, gave Leeds fans the middle finger during their clash on March 9.

He has requested a personal hearing, while Holloway is hit with a 2,000 fine because of his misconduct towards match officials during the same game.

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Rambunctious: Ian Holloway was not amused during Palace's clash with Leeds

Rambunctious: Ian Holloway was not amused during Palace's clash with Leeds

Zaha, who had been suffering abuse
from Leeds fans before the incident, was ticked off by Man United for
his behaviour during the 2-2 draw.

He admitted on Twitter that he should have behaved better, telling his followers 'it was very unprofessional of me'.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was
given a one-match ban, fined 20,000 and warned as to his future conduct
after a similar gesture aimed at Fulham fans back in December.

Picture: Why is Arsenal star Emmanuel Frimpong waving a Spurs scarf ahead of north London derby?

Who is this Arsenal star with a Spurs scarf ahead of Sunday's north London derby

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

23:56 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 1 March 2013

The build-up to this Sunday's eagerly-awaited north London derby is reaching fever pitch but it seems one Arsenal player may have lost all leave of his senses.

Bizarre images of Emmanuel Frimpong wearing a Captain America style mask and hat and waving a Tottenham scarf surfaced on the internet on Thursday night.

Star attraction: Frimpong entertains his fans with unusual outfit

Man overboard: Frimpong goads Spurs fans during live stream

frimpong

Centre stage: Frimpong took part in live stream with his cousin, rap star Lethal Bizzle

The midfielder, currently on loan at Fulham, donned the strange garb and goaded Spurs fans during a live stream with his cousin and rap star Lethal Bizzle.

Although it was a bit of light-hearted fun, Frimpong should really have thought twice about his internet show after being caught out using social media in the past.

He was fined 6,000 and warned over his future behaviour after admitting to a Football Association charge of improper conduct related to comments made on Twitter.

frimpong

Super hero Frimpong does his best Captain America impression

frimpong

Frimpong responded to a comment made by a Tottenham fan on July 15 and although he soon removed the tweet from the social networking site, it caught the attention of the FA.

The comment made by the Spurs supporter was retweeted by Frimpong, who also added the derogatory term that incurred the FA's wrath.

Eden Hazard ball boy row: police launch probe but video supports claim Chelsea ace kicked the ball

VIDEO: Police launch probe into alleged assault on ball boy… but is this the new camera angle that clears Chelsea's Hazard
Belgian FA hit out at Eden Hazard after incident during Capital One Cup tieHazard clashed with ball boy Charlie Morgan, 17, while trying to reclaim ballFormer Chelsea star Pat Nevin backs Hazard and calls Morgan 'disgraceful'
17-year-old ball boy is heir to 42m Swansea director's fortune Claims ball boys were under orders to help Swansea rubbished by club
FA investigating the incident, but PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor does not believe Hazard should face additional punishment

qualifier for Belgium and was filmed tucking into a burger from a van outside.

Steven Martens, the chief executive of the Belgian FA (KBVB) said: 'It's unfortunate and of course it's not something we are proud of. No football authority or person interested in football likes to see acts of violence or lack of respect and this is what happened.

'It might have happened in the heat of the fire but professionals are expected to be able to control themselves.

'They have to be able to control their emotions and when they don't that's unpleasant in general.

Anger: Swansea's Ashley Williams (centre) is held back as he tries to confront Eden Hazard (off camera)

Anger: Swansea's Ashley Williams (centre) is held back as he tries to confront Eden Hazard (off camera)

Sending off: Chelsea's Eden Hazard (#17) receives a red card from referee Chris Foy for violent conduct

Sending off: Chelsea's Eden Hazard (#17) receives a red card from referee Chris Foy for violent conduct

'Of course as we are the Belgium FA we don't like it to be a Belgium national squad player but I am very much convinced that Eden himself will realise that.

'Eden is more than intelligent enough to understand that this is going to be a lesson learned for him. All of us make mistakes in life.'

Martens, speaking at a meeting of UEFA's 53 member associations in Nyon, said Hazard's frustration was perhaps a reflection of the intense pressure on his shoulders.

Helping hand: Chelsea's Demba Ba (right) checks on the ball boy after he had clashed with Eden Hazard

Helping hand: Chelsea's Demba Ba (right) checks on the ball boy after he had clashed with Eden Hazard

Boast: The 17-year-old earlier wrote on Twitter that he was 'needed for timewasting'

Boast: The 17-year-old earlier wrote on Twitter that he was 'needed for timewasting'

He added: 'It is easy to judge from outside but you also have to see it from the player's side too.

'I have been a professional sports coach for many years and the demands on athletes and players are there day-in, day-out.

'Yes we think these guys are well-paid and have a luxury life but on the other hand there is an expectation on them all the time. 'It's not an excuse but it is something that could help us try to understand.'

While the boss of Belgium's football association was damning of Hazard, the Chelsea forward found a supporter in Pat Nevin.

Injured: The ballboy was named as 17-year-old Charlie Morgan, the son of Swansea director David Morgan

Martin Morgan

Wealthy: Charlie Morgan (left), the ball boy who
was kicked by Eden Hazard during a League Cup game last night, is the
son of multi-millionaire businessman Martin Morgan (right)

Property: The self-made tycoon is the owner of the luxury Morgans hotel in Swansea, pictured

Property: The self-made tycoon is the owner of the luxury Morgans hotel in Swansea, pictured

Boasting: Charlie posted this picture of a broken bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne on his Twitter page

betting slips

Boasting: Charlie posted a picture of a broken
bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne on his Twitter page, as well as one
of torn-up betting slips

The former Chelsea winger claimed he would have done the same as Hazard if he had been involved in the controversial ball-boy incident at Swansea.

When asked how he would have reacted to the situation, Nevin told BBC Radio 5: 'I would have kicked the ball out from underneath the ball boy if he had been lying like that, 100 per cent.'

And Nevin also criticised the behaviour of 17-year-old Morgan, branding it 'disgraceful'. He added: 'I was very, very disappointed by the way the ball boy acted, and I say “acted”.

'He must have been watching footballers, the way he rolled around and pretended to be more injured.

Travelling in style: Charlie put up this picture of himself in Virgin Atlantic's upper class

Travelling in style: Charlie put up this picture of himself in Virgin Atlantic's upper class

Destination: The teenager on holiday in Las Vegas, in another picture he posted to Twitter

Destination: The teenager on holiday in Las Vegas, in another picture he posted to Twitter

'He only has one job and his job is to go and give the ball back, and what did he do He keeps the ball.

'I have to say I was absolutely amazed this morning to find he is 17, not 12, not 13. 'He should know what his action should be in that situation. His behaviour was disgraceful.'

The ball boy at the centre of the storm Charlie Morgan is the son of hotel and property tycoon Martin Morgan, said to be the 32nd richest person in Wales.

Morgan is on the the Swansea board of directors – which is how Charlie ended up as a ballboy for the League Cup semi-final against the Londoners.

Pricey: A photo of the Louis Vuitton store in Las Vegas which Charlie put on Twitter

Pricey: A photo of the Louis Vuitton store in Las Vegas which Charlie put on Twitter

Charlie Morgan receipt

Charlie Morgan weather

Shared: The teenager retweeted someone else's
120,000 receipt with the caption, 'This is huge time', and also let his
friends know about the good weather at his holiday destination

Posting on Twitter before the game, the teenager wrote: ‘The king of all ballboys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting.'

Charlie's father is the director of 11 hotel and property companies and has featured in recent editions of the Sunday Times Rich List.

Morgan comes in at No 32 in the top 100 list for Wales – ahead of Premier League footballers Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs and 80s rock chick Bonnie Tyler.

Ben Watkins, 18, a former school friend of Charlie's, said: 'He must be the richest ball boy in football.

In pain: Morgan (second right) is ushered away from the sidelines following the incident with Hazard

In pain: Morgan (second right) is ushered away from the sidelines following the incident with Hazard

'He's mad about Swansea City – what he did was a bit foolish especially after be boasted he was going to time waste. I guess he's been a bit spoiled because his dad's got pots of money.'

In posts on Twitter Charlie brags about drinking Veuve Clicquot champagne and going on holiday to Las Vegas and Dubai.

Swansea are highly unlikely to take any action against Morgan for his part in the ugly clash – and the club has rubbished claims that their ball boys were ordered to give them an unfair advantage in the Capital One Cup clash.

Morgan has been widely accused of
deliberately withholding the ball, a stance seemingly supported by his
posts on Twitter earlier in the day.

Chelsea star: Eden Hazard (right) is pictured earlier in the League Cup match with Swansea City's Ben Davies

Eden Hazard award in May 22, 2011 in Paris

Striker: Eden Hazard is pictured earlier in the match (left) and winning an award in Paris in May 2011 (right)

The club refused to comment when asked to explain the decision, but Swansea vice-chairman Leigh Dineen reiterated Michael Laudrup’s assertion that their ball boys were not briefed to favour the home side.

Dineen told the Guardian: ‘There was no agenda, absolutely not. Stoke, a few years ago, would get the ballboy to wipe the ball down for a long throw and that was something the ballboys were obviously told to do. But certainly we don't line up the ballboys and ask them to waste time. Definitely not.’

A club spokesman added that Morgan,
who started his role aged 12 in 2008, ‘has been a ballboy for about six
seasons and there’s never been a complaint before’.

The
FA have also confirmed they will be taking no action against Swansea
over the incident, while South Wales Police are not pursuing the case as
Morgan declined to press charges.

The FA are reviewing footage of the
action, but Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon
Taylor does not believe Hazard should face additional punishment.

Hurt: The ballboy (centre) is ushered away from the sidelines following the incident with Eden Hazard

Hurt: The ballboy (centre) is ushered away from the sidelines following the incident with Eden Hazard

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He said: 'There is obviously a process which the FA have to go through and it is up to them what they decide. 'But I don't think the young lad involved would want to see Hazard punished further.

'The referee made the correct decision on the night and you do not want people to be hung, drawn and quartered for things that happen in the heat of the moment.

'It is disappointing and Hazard has shown remorse and the two clubs handled the matter very well.

'It will be seen as another stick to beat the game with, but the game has always been about passion and emotions running high and it is a shame for this to overshadow the wonderful achievements of Swansea and Bradford – two clubs who have faced extinction – in reaching the final.'

Coach Alan Curtis also insisted the ball boys were not told to waste time.

He said: 'We never gave them any
instructions whatsoever to slow the game down. It’s never ever been the
case at all. It was a really unfortunate situation.

'I’ve got to be honest though, if I had been the player, I would have tried to get the ball back as quickly as possible.

'Unfortunately it’s been blown up to
be a major incident. It was quickly defused straight after the game.
They met up after the game and shook hands, both apologised and, as far
as we’re concerned, that is the end of it.

'It’s a shame that it’s overshadowed everything.'

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Martin Jol has accused Morgan of 'playing rugby' against Chelsea and said he could understand Hazard kicking out at the teenager.

Jol said: 'Our ball boys are between 10 and 12 years of age. I saw he (Morgan) was probably over-age, probably 21. A big boy, you know Six foot, maybe

'I felt for Hazard, but you can't kick people. He (the ball boy) was playing rugby with him, so I can understand he wanted to get the ball.

'We always tell coaches to tell the ball boys to give the ball back as soon as possible. To do it quick; and not to irritate people.

'Of course you could say Eden should have controlled himself, but it was bizarre. The ball boy shouldn't lie on the ball and play rugby with it.

'He (Hazard) should have controlled himself, but I can see why he did it. I'm not allowed to say I would have done the same so, of course, I would not have done that.'

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David Moyes wants Marouane Fellaini to be like Lionel Messi

Moyes urges main man Marouane to copy Messi and keep his cool

|

UPDATED:

22:24 GMT, 31 December 2012

Marouane Fellaini has been urged to model himself on Lionel Messi as he prepares to make his comeback from suspension at Newcastle on Wednesday night.

The fiery Everton midfielder reiterated his apology for the headbutt on Ryan Shawcross that cost him a red card at Stoke and reassured manager David Moyes over his future by insisting he would not try to engineer a move away from Goodison Park in the January transfer window.

But while Everton will welcome him back after three games out for violent conduct, Moyes is taking steps to ensure there is no repeat of the costly loss of control.

Smile, be happy: Marouane Fellaini has been told to chill out by his manager

Smile, be happy: Marouane Fellaini has been told to chill out by his manager

Heads, you lose: It comes after the Belgian was sent off for butting

Heads, you lose: It comes after the Belgian was sent off for butting

‘If I was playing against Felli, I’d try and wind him up,’ said the former Preston centre half. ‘Anybody would. It’s what happens with good players, and I keep telling him he just has to get on with it.

‘The best person to look at for that is Lionel Messi. Every person targets him, everyone tries to kick him and stop him. They’ll do everything.

'He is the best in the world and he gets physically attacked every game, but all he ever does is get up and get on with it. That is the sign of a top player.

‘I feel as if Felli let us down at Stoke, but that is in the past. He has paid his punishment, as we have as well, but I don’t have any concerns about his character overall.’

Despite being targeted by Chelsea and Manchester United, Fellaini claimed he was in no hurry to leave Goodison.

‘I have a contract with Everton until 2016, and, if the club want, I will see that out,’ he said. ‘I know I am hot, and I want to move forward one day, but I will finish my Everton contract if they want me to.

‘Normally I am an honest player but that was just frustration at Stoke. Shawcross was pushing and pulling me the whole game and, in the end, I just exploded. But I shouldn’t have, and I’m sorry for what I did.’

Get on with it: Lionel Messi takes his fair share of kicks and knocks, but stays cool

Get on with it: Lionel Messi takes his fair share of kicks and knocks, but stays cool

Fellaini, 25, revealed how he has become a target for unwanted attention off the pitch and has been forced to move away from Merseyside.

‘I am living in Manchester now, because in Liverpool, the women were crawling for me,’ he said. ‘It was too much. In Manchester, people don’t recognise me that much and tend to treat me in a more respectful way.

'I don’t want to be a star. I just want to play football.’

Moyes, who has secured Seamus Coleman’s long-term future on a new five-and-a-half-year deal, confirmed that midfielder Darron Gibson will be out for a month with a thigh strain.

‘It’s a big loss,’ he said. ‘It also limits our options, because Phil Neville is recovering from a knee operation. At least Marouane can drop back in and John Heitinga can step in, too, if need be.’

Graham Poll: Samir Nasri deserved to be sent off

Mancini is wrong, Nasri's red card for Bassong butt was a textbook call

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 30 December 2012

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has no case when defending Samir Nasri as referees have clear instructions for such incidents as occurred two minutes before half-time in the game at Norwich.

Following a strong tackle by Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong on Nasri, the City player jumped to his feet and placed his head in his opponent's face.

When two players go head to head this is viewed as adopting an aggressive attitude to one another and if they go no further the advice is a caution for each player.

Head-to-head: Samir Nasri and Sebastian Bassong (left) clashed

Head-to-head: Samir Nasri and Sebastian Bassong (left) clashed

'Incredible': Roberto Mancini raged at the decision to send off Nasri but not Bassong

'Incredible': Roberto Mancini raged at the decision to send off Nasri but not Bassong

However, if, as Nasri did, a player pulls his head away and returns it, this is defined as a headbutt, which has to be seen as violent conduct and the offender sent off.

Mancini, who has already been asked by the FA to explain his criticism of referee Kevin Friend following the defeat at Sunderland on Boxing Day, hit out at referee Mike Jones.

The City boss said: 'Both players went forward with their heads, so if you are to send off one you have to send off both.

'There are two rules for different teams and I hate this in football and cannot accept this.'

However, with Jones cautioning Bassong after consulting with his assistant as well as dismissing Nasri it was textbook refereeing.

Lunge: Bassong was booked for this lunge on Nasri which sparked the incident

Lunge: Bassong was booked for this lunge on Nasri which sparked the incident

Unimpressed: Mancini was upset at what he percieives to be another unfair decision

Unimpressed: Mancini was upset at what he percieives to be another unfair decision

Warren Gatland discusses Lions selection

It wouldn't bother me if I picked 15 English players, says Lions head coach Gatland

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

Warren Gatland will travel to Australia from his New Zealand home this week as his quest to become the first British and Irish Lions head coach in 16 years to win a Test series begins in earnest.

The 49-year-old former All Black hooker and current Wales head coach, a man who helped Waikato to a 38-10 win over the Lions in 1993, plans to share a beer with fellow Kiwi and Wallaby head coach Robbie Deans when the Lions backroom staff conduct a reconnaissance trip Down Under before returning ahead of a Six Nations tournament that will define his squad selection.

There are so many questions to be answered, such as the make-up of the back row. ‘Can you pick it’ Gatland asks. ‘Because right now I haven’t got a clue.’

Fill the shirt: Head coach Warren Gatland is planning a recce Down Under before picking his Lions squad

Fill the shirt: Head coach Warren Gatland is planning a recce Down Under before picking his Lions squad

But in many areas the former Ireland coach, who also led Wasps to domestic and European success and twice guided Wales to Grand Slams, has made up his mind.

Take the composition of the squad. ‘I’d imagine there will be 35 players made up of a 19 to 16 split between forwards and backs, possibly 20 to 15,’ he reveals. ‘We’ll have three hookers, three 9s, three 10s and an extra prop. It means that in nearly all other positions there’ll be two players fighting it out for one spot.’

Gatland is adamant all four home nations will be represented in the squad, but all politics will go out of the window when it comes to the Test starting XV. ‘It wouldn’t bother me if I picked 15 Englishmen if I thought they were best equipped to beat Australia,’ he says. ‘I don’t think the make-up of the team is the main criteria for getting the job done, although I believe all four nations should have representations in the squad for the morale of the tour. That’s why I hope that Scotland enjoy a good Six Nations because I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn to say representation for the Scots is challenging.’

In deciding his best approach, Gatland has sought advice from two of his predecessors; Sir Ian McGeechan, his boss on the 2009 tour to South Africa that ended in narrow defeat, and fellow Kiwi Graham Henry, who was also Wales coach when he led an ultimately unsuccessful tour to Australia in 2001.

Lion's share: England will be represented in the starting XV

Lion's share: England will be represented in the starting XV

Lion's share: England will be represented in the starting XV

‘Graham told me that coaching the Lions gave him some of the most valuable lessons he ever learned, lessons that he put to good use when he won the World Cup last year for New Zealand,’ says Gatland. ‘He also boosted my confidence by saying how I’m miles more experienced than he was at this point. He was appointed Lions coach 18 months after taking over in Wales. I’ve been coaching in the Northern Hemisphere for the vast majority of the last 24 years.

‘New Zealand try to claim me as a Kiwi coach but, while I was a Kiwi player, I’m most definitely a Northern Hemisphere coach, and very proud to be so.’

The memories of four years ago when Gatland, as forwards coach under McGeechan, saw the Lions lose narrowly are still raw. ‘I’m still hurting from that,’ he says. ‘I recall the tiniest of details, like a lineout the ref deemed wasn’t straight to a Bryan Habana try. I’ll swear until my very last day it was straight.

‘And I’ll never know how Schalk Burger wasn’t sent off, or at the very least sent to the bin, for gouging in the second Test.

‘But I’m proud of what we achieved in 2009 when we put the pride back into the Lions jersey, and regained the respect from the rest of world rugby.’

Second coming: Gatland was part of the Lions coaching team in 2009

Second coming: Gatland was part of the Lions coaching team in 2009

This is in reference to the ill-fated tour of New Zealand in 2005 when Sir Clive Woodward split management and playing staff into midweek and Test groups, resulting in a 3-0 series whitewash.

Gatland, in the forefront of the modern game when it comes to coaching Wales, is more of a traditionalist with the Lions.

‘You have to be more old school for a scratch team who meet up the day after many have played in cup finals and who have been kicking lumps out of each other just a few weeks before,’ he says.

‘Every member of the squad will get to start one of the first three games. That way they won’t throw their toys out of the pram like they did in 2005. It will be good for squad morale.

‘Likewise, I’ll make sure we have a few beers. We’ll have to get the balance right – obviously what happened with England at the World Cup didn’t work out too well – but it’s important the boys enjoy each other’s company and bond.’

For now, Gatland has to choose the right players. He intends to see all four countries as much as possible during the Six Nations, starting with England against Scotland at Twickenham on February 2. He also plans to watch training, although he is wary of his ties with Wales.

Class of 2013: Gatland with his coaches (L-R) Graham Rowntree, Rob Howley and Andy Farrell

Class of 2013: Gatland with his coaches (L-R) Graham Rowntree, Rob Howley and Andy Farrell

‘Stuart Lancaster has offered to let me spend a day watching England train, as has Declan Kidney with Ireland,’ he says. ‘It’s important people feel comfortable and know me well enough to realise I’m not going to go running back to Wales with trade secrets. That would insult me and the coaches’ integrity. If anything, my problem is trying not to be too hard on the Welsh to prove I’m totally unbiased.

‘The coach’s input is vital. I know the players and I can see their stats but I’ll need help to choose the right personalities, an ingredient just as important on a Lions tour.’

He wants consistency from all contenders during the Six Nations, something which has been lacking.

‘If I’d picked the squad after the 2012 Six Nations then there would have been a lot of Welsh Grand Slam winners in it,’ he adds. ‘After the autumn this wouldn’t be the case. If I have the England win over New Zealand in mind then a lot of those guys put their hand up.

‘If we get it right on and off the field we will have a hell of a team, and if that’s the case then we’ll beat Australia. It’s my job now to make sure that happens.’

Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp ordered by FA to explain referee criticisms

FA demand Mancini and Redknapp explain referee criticisms… as Fergie escapes sanction

|

UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 28 December 2012

The FA today confirmed they had written to Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp over their criticism of referees following Manchester City and QPR's Boxing Day defeats.

The FA sent letters to City boss Mancini and Rangers counterpart Redknapp requesting their observations on their post-match comments in the wake of their sides' respective matches against Sunderland and West Brom.

Mancini and Redknapp could both find themselves charged by the FA if their words are found to have amounted to improper conduct.

In the dock: Redknapp and Maancini have been told to explain themselves

In the dock: Redknapp and Maancini have been told to explain themselves

In the dock: Redknapp and Mancini have been ordered to explain their actions

Mancini hit out at referee Kevin Friend following City's 1-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light, saying: 'Maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas.'

The Italian was particularly angry with what he felt was a foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to Adam Johnson's winner, saying it was 'impossible two men couldn't see it' in reference to Friend and his assistant.

Redknapp, meanwhile, was furious with what he claimed were two 'scandalous' decisions in QPR's 2-1 home defeat to West Brom.

Outburst: Redknapp was disappointed with the decision to allow the goal at Loftus Road to stand and Mancini slammed the referee for not spotting as foul in the build-up to Johnson's goal

Outburst: Redknapp was disappointed with the decision to allow the goal at Loftus Road to stand and Mancini slammed the referee for not spotting as foul in the build-up to Johnson's goal

Outburst: Redknapp was disappointed with the decision to allow the goal at Loftus Road to stand and Mancini slammed the referee for not spotting as foul in the build-up to Johnson's goal

The Rangers boss felt the Baggies' second goal should have been disallowed for a push on goalkeeper Robert Green and bemoaned the decision not to award his side a penalty when Liam Ridgewell appeared to handle the ball late on.

Redknapp said: 'I asked the linesman how he didn't see that penalty – it was the most blatant handball you could wish to see but he said it was murky down there in that corner and he couldn't make it out.

'Maybe he should go to Specsavers. I thought they were both awful decisions. Scandalous decisions.'

Scott free: Fergie wasn't charged for his actions during the clash at Old Trafford

Scott free: Fergie wasn't charged for his actions during the clash at Old Trafford