Tag Archives: johnson

Ladbrokes refund 200k of bets after 11 Godolphin horses test positive for anabolic steroids

Ladbrokes refund 200k of bets after 11 Godolphin horses test positive for anabolic steroids

St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni” class=”blkBorder” />

Scandal: 2012 St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni

‘I can only apologise for the damage this will cause to Godolphin and to racing generally.’

When jumps trainer Howard Johnson was banned for four years in 2010, one year was a result of positive steroid tests.

None of the Al Zarooni horses to test positive can currently run.

His stable was subject to a random test on April 9.

No date has been set for the hearing.

Mahmood Al Zarooni"s career in doubt after 11 of his horses test positive for anabolic steroids

Godolphin rocked by drugs scandal: Al Zarooni's career in doubt after 11 of his horses test positive for anabolic steroids

St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni” class=”blkBorder” />

Scandal: 2012 St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni

‘I can only apologise for the damage this will cause to Godolphin and to racing generally.’

When jumps trainer Howard Johnson was banned for four years in 2010, one year was a result of positive steroid tests.

None of the Al Zarooni horses to test positive can currently run.

His stable was subject to a random test on April 9.

No date has been set for the hearing.

New England Nike kit: "Leaked" image of rumoured away shirt

Is this the new England kit 'Leaked' image claims to be latest Three Lions' away strip…

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

13:59 GMT, 20 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:17 GMT, 20 March 2013

The new England kit will be launched next month but have fans already been treated to a first look at the away strip

A leaked image was posted on various internet sites, claiming that this red jersey will be worn by Roy Hodgson's men.

Sports manufacturing giants Nike are now in control of the Football Association kit sponsorship – including branding of the National Football Centre at St George’s Park – after replacing long-standing partners Umbro.

Is this the new England away kit This 'leaked' image claims to be the latest offering from sports giants Nike

Is this the new England away kit This 'leaked' image claims to be the latest offering from sports giants Nike

It is understood that Nike will officially unveil the new Three Lions' shirts on St George's Day, April 23.

The likes of Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and Ashley Cole can look forward to wearing the new white home kit on May 29 at Wembley against the Republic of Ireland, with the away number to be debuted in Rio this summer.

England play Brazil in June as part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations, which plays a prominent part in the rumoured away design with a gold FA badge crest embroidered on the chest.

The minimalistic all-red jersey – pictured above – apparently has a polo collar with buttons to complete a smart look, that appears to be inspired by England's historic 1966 World Cup success.

All smiles: Wayne Roney

Training day: England's Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson

Kit special: Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson – all Nike athletes – can look forward to the new strip

Nike, however, refused to confirm whether the 'leaked' image is the genuine article but admitted all will be revealed soon.

'Nike creates different design options and samples at different stages in the kit design process,' a spokesperson told Sportsmail.

'We will unveil the actual designs later this year and until then we cannot comment on images of England kit designs that are circulating on the web.'

England will play in the white Umbro home kit for the last time in the forthcoming World Cup 2014 qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro before switching to the Swoosh.

Farewell: England players will wear Umbro for their next two World Cup qualifying games for the last time

Farewell: England players will wear Umbro for their next two World Cup qualifying games for the last time

Players need to “stand up” says Lampard ahead of San Marino

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Liverpool will wear charity sponsor for West Brom game

Gerrard delight as Liverpool stick charity sponsor on shirts for West Brom clash

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

10:26 GMT, 11 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:22 GMT, 11 February 2013

Liverpool will wear a charity logo on their shirts for their clash with West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard and Co will have the 'Seeing is Believing' logo on their chests, rather than the usual 'Standard Chartered'. The shirts will be signed by the players after the game and then auctioned off.

Among other Reds stars, Gerrard took part in some events to support the charity and was happy to be involved with the charity which tries to tackle avoidable blindness in developing countries.

Scroll down for video

Positive contribution: Lucas Leiva models the shirt with the charity sponsor

Positive contribution: Lucas Leiva models the shirt with the charity sponsor

He said: 'You realise at the time how difficult it is without your sight. Especially doing activities. We were involved in a penalty shoot-out using a blindfold and it's so difficult.

'It was really enjoyable to take part and very important for myself and the club as well to play our part and try to help these people.'

Liverpool wore shirts with the same logo on last season in their final home match, against Chelsea, and the cash went to supporting the Standard Chartered charitable initiative.

Taking part: Steven Gerrard joined in with some events put on by the charity

Taking part: Steven Gerrard joined in with some events put on by the charity

On the ball: Gerrard plays keepie-uppie

They raised over 86,000 last time around and managing director Ian Ayre was glad to be able to try and do the same again.

He said: 'We’re once again proud to display the Seeing is Believing logo on our home shirt.

'Since Standard Chartered became the club’s shirt sponsor, we’ve worked closely with them to raise awareness for Seeing is Believing, both in the developing world and here in the UK.

'It’s a fantastic initiative and we hope
to raise as much as possible from the shirts to cure avoidable blindness
in developing countries.'

Throwback: Liverpool used the sponsor last season, here on Andy Carroll (centre) and Maxi Rodriguez (right)

Throwback: Liverpool used the sponsor last season, here on Andy Carroll (centre) and Maxi Rodriguez (right)

The Baggies will go into this evening's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield on the back of five defeats in their last six games.

Skipper Chris Brunt is convinced his side will emerge from their current slump now they face a less demanding schedule for the remainder of the campaign.

Brunt said: 'We are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment but, for a club our size and for the money we've got and spent, we are still ninth in the league, 34 points.

'We are moving in the right direction but the last few weeks we haven't been great. We know that ourselves and know where we've got to improve to get it right.

Happy memories: Last time Liverpool wore the sponsor they smashed Chelsea at Anfield

Happy memories: Last time Liverpool wore the sponsor they smashed Chelsea at Anfield

'December and January is a pretty hectic period and it's one where we have tended to struggle a bit in the last few seasons and then picked up in February.

'Hopefully that will be the case again – starting on Monday. Our squad has been really stretched over the last few months, a lot of games and a few injuries have really hurt us.

'The boys have just had to play through it or play out of position because we don't have the luxury of rotating the team other clubs can to keep players fresher.'

VIDEO: Gerrard speaks about Seeing is Believing

If you want to bid for the shirts after the game, head to www.ebay.co.uk/perfectmatch.

England 2 Brazil 1: Martin Keown verdict

Martin Keown: I'm convinced Hart and Cesar are the best keepers in England and Wilshere played like a Brazilian!

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

00:14 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 7 February 2013

There was plenty of talk ahead of the game about the outfield players but it was hard to ignore the goalkeepers once the action started. I saw Joe Hart and Julio Cesar go head to head when Manchester City visited QPR recently and was hugely impressed.

Now I am convinced that they are the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Hart did really well to save Ronaldinho’s penalty and then reach the rebound before the Brazilian. Cesar’s stops to defy Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill were stunning.

The first reminded me of Gordon Banks keeping out Pele. Cesar showed his flexibility and Hart showed fantastic determination. They will be vital for their teams for the remainder of the season.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar

Joe Hart

Safe hands: Joe Hart and Julio Cesar proved themselves to be the best keepers in the Premier League

Glen kept Neymar in his pocket

Glen Johnson has looked nervy at times for England at Wembley in the past. Last night he looked more confident. He was good with and without the ball and kept Neymar quiet when confronted with him. On the opposite side, Ashley Cole looked a bit nervous as he won his 100th cap.

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Blue is the colour

Six Chelsea players were involved last night — David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar for Brazil, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for England. They have enough quality to suggest Rafael Benitez’s side should be performing a lot better.

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Well done, Frank

To go with some exciting young players,
England have some world-class experienced stalwarts. Frank Lampard’s
goal put him level with David Platt on 27. He’s only three shy of Tom
Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer on 30.

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Game of two halves for Gary

Gary Cahill was exceptional in the first half, sniffing out danger and accomplished on the ball. He looked far better than he has in a Chelsea shirt this season. But the centre back undid that good work by overplaying for the Brazilian equaliser. He wanted to show that English defenders can play. That should be encouraged but there are moments when you can be too adventurous.

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Jack's like a Brazilian

Jack Wilshere was the best player on the pitch. He looked so full of confidence and carried the game at times. Wilshere always wants to receive the ball, even if he’s under pressure and he is then technically gifted enough to use it in an intelligent way.

Since returning from injury, there was no doubting his ability but he is now fit enough to have the energy to match his technical prowess. The way he has come back from that lay-off to perform at such a level is impressive. We should cherish him.

Running the show: Jack Wilshere controlled the midfield on his first England start since 2011

Wilshere

Running the show: Jack Wilshere was the star of England's midfield as Brazil were overran

Ashley Cole deserves appreciation for reaching century of England caps v Brazil

Rival fans can't stand him and he even broke the heart of the nation's sweetheart Cheryl… but is it time we gave Ashley Cole a little love as he joins England's 100 Club

European Championships” class=”blkBorder” />

Standing the test of time: Ashley Cole has turned in consistently excellent performances for England ever since his debut – against Albania in a World Cup qualifier back in March 2001. He is set to win his 100th cap – becoming the seventh player to do so – against Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday night.

THE 100 CAP CLUB

Peter Shilton – 125
David Beckham – 115
Bobby Moore – 108
Bobby Charlton – 106
Billy Wright – 105
Steven Gerrard – 100

They’re being told to just put aside for a few moments all that inherent, seething dislike of a man who’s been regularly vilified at grounds up and down the country for the best part of a decade, and show some appreciation, however forced, for a wonderful achievement.

Yesterday, fellow centurion Steven Gerrard had to appeal to the Wembley crowd to treat Cole with respect. The captain said that ‘nobody in the ground can take away that achievement’ and that the Chelsea player ‘deserves’ to be a hundred cap man.

Can you imagine a teammate having to go on the record to justify to England fans that Moore, or Charlton, or indeed any of the others, is ‘worthy’ of their accomplishment

As might be expected, the praise has been pouring in this week. Stuart Pearce called him the ‘best left-back that’s ever played for England’ and, continuing the theme, said that he would be ‘standing and cheering when his name gets announced.’

Best in the business: Cole has been hailed by a number of former England internationals as the best left-back to ever play for the national team

Best in the business: Cole has been hailed by a number of former England internationals as the best left-back to ever play for the national team

Glen Johnson said Cole was ‘one of the nicest guys you could ever meet’ and former Arsenal teammate Martin Keown said he was a ‘lovely fella.’

It’s extraordinary that Cole is so universally unloved that players past and present need to come out with such comments to justify why he’s deserving of a simple round of applause from a crowd of people.

Whatever Cole’s misdemeanours in the past, whatever his alleged shortcomings and infidelities as a person, husband, Twitter-user and work experience student mentor, nobody can dispute his status as a consistently world-class player.

The highs... Cole celebrates with David Beckham after the latter scored a free-kick against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup

The highs… Cole celebrates with David Beckham after the latter scored a free-kick against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup

And the lows... Cole is consoled by Roy Hodgson after England lose on penalties to Italy at Euro 2012

And the lows… Cole is consoled by Roy Hodgson after England lose on penalties to Italy at Euro 2012

You hear of Cole being run ragged by a winger or making a match-defining error so rarely that you’re led to believe that his performances have been flawless since the beginning of time. In a decade or more at the top of the game, Cole has faced all the best attackers in the world – and he’s never been mastered by any of them.

When these glamorous England friendlies roll round, it’s only natural to play that game where you try and fit English names into the opposition eleven. Who is good enough to play for Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, whoever The truth is, all of those nations would love to have Cole in their team.

Cole’s reading of the game is second to none. His instinct to interpret and be in the right place at the right time is unrivalled. How many times has Cole saved Chelsea or England by winning a foot race to tackle a striker bearing down on goal, or been on the post to head the ball off the line

In Chelsea’s run to European glory last season, he cleared Christian Maggio’s goalbound effort from underneath the crossbar to prevent elimination to Napoli and he denied Barcelona a crucial away goal in the Stamford Bridge leg of the semi-final.

Indeed, his marshalling of Dani Alves in that game was up there with his shackling of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Euro 2004 quarter-final – both in Cole’s “pocket” as it were.

Shackled: Cole keeps a tight rein on Cristiano Ronaldo, then of Manchester United, in the 2007 Community Shield

Shackled: Cole keeps a tight rein on Cristiano Ronaldo, then of Manchester United, in the 2007 Community Shield

And in an age when wing-backs are expected also to fulfil attacking obligations, Cole excels. He tears up and down the flank tirelessly – a tackle here, an interception there, a whipped cross, a neat shimmy or flash of skill.

The breadth of his role on the left-side requires a slavish devotion to working on and developing every facet of his game. Cole’s professionalism in training and self-education in the ways of football have never been questioned.

Nor has his commitment. Unlike some others, he’s always been ready, willing and able to play for the national team. He’s never let the failures of the ‘Golden Generation’ discourage him from providing the kind of full-bloodied, lion-hearted performances England fans demand.

Medallion man: Cole (right) celebrates with Daniel Sturridge after winning the European cup for Chelsea last May

Medallion man: Cole (right) celebrates with Daniel Sturridge after winning the European cup for Chelsea last May

Cole has been rewarded handsomely for his ability, he’s won everything in the club game and it’s perhaps this doesn’t help his image. Cheats and ‘love rats’ seem to prosper, his detractors would say.

But Cole is having the last laugh. He’s long learned to live with the Pantomime booing on opposition ground and even from his own fans at Wembley – it doesn’t affect the consistently excellent performances he puts in. It doesn’t permeate the thick skin.

He can also retort by pointing to three Premier League, seven FA Cup, a League Cup and a Champions League winners medal in his collection with a smugness and a satisfaction.

And as he again soaks up the acclaim on this grand occasion of a century of caps, it’s time to get on our feet, applaud and cheer for one of the best left-backs the game will ever see. And mean it too.

Can we feel a bit sorry for unfaithful Cole Never, argues Liv Lee

Can you ever really appreciate a sportsperson purely for what they do on the field No.

No-one self-sabotages like a Premier League footballer.

They achieve it with impressive frequency. Admittedly, they have the eyes of the world on them, and when every mistake turns up the next day in national headlines, well, that can’t be easy.

So can we feel just a little bit sorry for Ashley Cole Absolutely not.

Split: Cole's reputation will always be tarnished by allegations he cheated on wife Cheryl

Split: Cole's reputation will always be tarnished by allegations he cheated on wife Cheryl

Everybody makes mistakes. Sleeping with someone who wasn’t his wife (allegedly) was probably a mistake, and he’s not the first person to betray a spouse. Sleeping with multiple people (allegedly), less so – unless you go down the Tiger Woods line of claiming an addiction to sex, multiple indiscretions can’t be ‘mistakes.’

But sleeping with people who he met in less than discreet circumstances and who went on to sell their stories in graphic detail (allegedly) – Phenomenally, unforgivably stupid.

He’s not the first. Wayne Rooney’s indiscretions have been made equally public, but when it comes to women paid for sex, you’d assume you were also paying for them to keep their mouth shut. Cole had no reason to expect that any one of his lovers would keep quiet.

And if only there was just the one reason to despise him.

Never forgiven: Cole helped Arsenal win silverware, but he's never been forgiven for the manner in which he left for Chelsea

Never forgiven: Cole helped Arsenal win silverware, but he's never been forgiven for the manner in which he left for Chelsea

‘I couldn't believe it when they [Arsenal] weren't prepared to pay me 60,000 a week.’ Need I say more

And he shot a work experience student. As I said, the capability to footballers to self-sabotage is just outstanding.

His achievements on the field will make sure he is remembered as one of the greatest players England ever bred. And his actions off the pitch don’t diminish those achievements in any way.

But the incidents surrounding Cole are inextricable from the man you see on the pitch. People love sport not only because of the basic viewing of a game, but also for the personalities involved, and the dynamic in teams and between oppositions that these personalities create.

It really would be great to love and respect that man for what he’s achieved, but he just makes it too damn hard.

England begin training for Wembley friendly with Brazil

England stars get down to business in training as they prepare to face the boys from Brazil

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

11:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

England have begun preparations for Wednesday's illustrious friendly at Wembley with Brazil.

The bad news for manager Roy Hodgson, however, is that only 11 outfield players were available to fully train today.

The withdrawals of the injured Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick and the absence of the unfit Daniel Sturridge had significantly contributed to
the depleted numbers available to Hodgson to train, with others involved yesterday in the
Premier League instead limited to a warm-down session.

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Joe Hart and Jack Butland remain the only
senior goalkeepers in Roy Hodgson's full squad but with Hart among
those only warming down, Middlesbrough's inexperienced Jason Steele has been added to
the training squad to aid preparations for Wednesday's fixture.

Hodgson is expected to announce further
squad changes today, incidentally, in response to the withdrawals of Carrick and Defoe and because of Sturridge's inability to train.

The forward has discussed his
fitness with the England manager and, though reluctant to do so, is expected to
accept that he will be unable to play any part against Brazil
and could therefore leave the England camp.

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Ashley Cole, however, was among the 11 available to Hodgson today, meaning he remains on course to follow Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Steven Gerrard and become the seventh England player to reach 100 caps.

His presence is a real positive for England given the intimidating prospect of facing both Ronaldinho and Neymar, but even for all of the latter's reputation as one of the world's greatest talents, another of Hodgson's defenders, Phil Jagielka, has revealed his international team-mates are yet to truly know what it is they can expect from him.

'I don't know a lot about Neymar,' Jagielka said. 'We don't see a lot of footage. He plays in Brazil so it is tough for us.

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

'But we have video analysis people when we meet up with England and they will have plenty of footage for us to review.

'They will pick out his good points and bad ones. I am sure the good points will be going on for hours.'

LIVE: Watch England"s Player of the Year awards from St George"s Park

LIVE: Watch England's Player of the Year awards from St George's Park here

PUBLISHED:

21:40 GMT, 3 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 3 February 2013

Sportsmail's finest awarded

Our very own Matt Lawton picked up the Brian Woolnough award for best England writer. Read about it HERE

Who will win England's Player of the Year award Follow the action live here with Sportsmail.

Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole Glen Johnson, Joe Hart and Danny Welbeck are the five men in with a chance of winning it.

Awards already issued tonight are England's Young Player of the year, U21 Player of the Year and Team of the Year. Find out who won below.

Here to watch: Leighton Baines, Leon Osman and Phil Jagielka

Here to watch: Leighton Baines, Leon Osman and Phil Jagielka


Brian Woolnough Writer's Award: Matt Lawton (Daily Mail)

Matt Lawton

England U21 Player of the Year: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

Jordan Henderson

2. Martin Kelly (Liverpool)

3. Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United)

England Men's Youth Player of the Year: Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea)

Nathaniel Chalobah

2. Will Hughes (Derby)

3. John Lundstram (Everton)

Club England Team of the Year: England Women

England Women

VIDEO: Backstage at the awards

Joe Hart will not let recent criticism get to him

Hart out to show mental strength by not letting recent criticism affect performances

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

23:24 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 10 January 2013

Joe Hart is determined not to beat himself up over the recent criticism of his performances.

After spending two seasons unchallenged as the best English keeper in the Barclays Premier League, suddenly a few flaws have been evident with the Manchester City man.

Most recently he was blamed for Adam Johnson's goal, which condemned City to defeat at Sunderland and left them trailing Manchester United by seven points heading into the new year.

Ignoring the criticism: Manchester City and England No 1 Joe Hart (pictured) will not let criticism affect his performances

Ignoring the criticism: Manchester City and England No 1 Joe Hart (pictured) will not let criticism affect his performances

Even with England, it was suggested Fraser Forster could be putting pressure on Hart for his shirt after his impressive Champions League performances against Barcelona earlier in the campaign.

But Hart has the mental strength to survive such sniping.

And he accepts there will be times when he doesn't reach the level he would wish.

Under-fire: Hart has been under pressure after some errors have entered his game, most recently in the defeat against Sunderland

Under-fire: Hart has been under pressure after some errors have entered his game, most recently in the defeat against Sunderland

'If you weren't doing well and winning things, people would not be interested in what you are doing,' he told Sky Sports News.

'People are paid to make comments.

'You have to be strong and give the best you can week in, week out.

'I work hard. Sometimes I don't save the ball. It is not through lack of effort or concentration.

You can't be perfect as much as you try to be. It is not going to happen.'

It has been suggested City's inability to get a regular defence on the pitch has had an effect, not just on Hart's form, but that of the team as a whole.

The criticism is one he refutes.

'It is definitely not the case,' he said.

'We are a close group and we all know how each other plays.

'It never feels foreign for anyone to come in.'

Under pressure: Hart's England spot is under pressure thanks to a string of outstanding performances by Celtic keeper Fraser Forster (centre)

No 2: Hart's England spot is under pressure thanks to a string of outstanding performances by Celtic keeper Fraser Forster (centre)

Roberto Mancini faces no punishment from the FA for criticism of referee

Mancini escapes FA rap for claiming referee 'ate too much at Christmas'

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

14:42 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:27 GMT, 10 January 2013

Roberto Mancini will not be disciplined by the FA for his criticism of referee Kevin Friend on Boxing Day.

The Manchester City manager said that Friend may
have ‘ate too much’ at Christmas after their 1-0 defeat at Sunderland and while the FA have decided not to punish Mancini, they have
reminded him of his responsibilities.

Had they taken action he
would have been facing a touchline ban or a fine.

Mancini will not face any punishment from the FA for his criticism of referee Kevin Friend

Off the hook: Mancini will not face any punishment from the FA for his criticism of referee Kevin Friend

Mancini was angry because he felt City deserved a free-kick following Craig Gardner’s challenge on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to Adam Johnson's winner.

He blamed both the referee and the linesman, saying: ‘The referee may have had too much to eat for Christmas. The linesman, too. It wasn’t a great game from them.

'That’s the problem we have sometimes in football. I don’t see how the referee can’t see the foul in the build-up. I don’t know how.’

The Italian was asked to offer observations about his comments by last Friday and after he sent the FA an explanation of his words the matter was dropped.