Fellaini to dodge longer ban despite numerous clashes with Shawcross
00:50 GMT, 17 December 2012
NOW READ MARTIN SAMUEL…
OK, Fellaini was wrong but let’s get to grips with the real problem
Marouane Fellaini will escape with a three-match ban despite headbutting Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross during their running battle at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Referee Mark Halsey and his assistants missed the incident at a corner in the 59th minute, as well as several others involving the two players during the 1-1 draw.
In two separate clashes between the pair later the Everton midfielder appeared to elbow Shawcross in the face and then swipe at him with his right hand.
Heads, you lose: Fellaini should be banned, according to his manager David Moyes
But the FA will concentrate on the
headbutt, basing their punishment on what would have happened if Halsey
had spotted the incident and shown a red card rather than the severity
of the offence.
The FA will be free to act when
Halsey’s report arrives today and they are almost certain to charge
Fellaini retrospectively with violent conduct and ban him for three
They seem certain to ignore the later clashes, at least one of which could also have resulted in a red card.
The Belgium star is also facing a
club fine of two weeks’ wages — up to 150,000 — from furious Everton
manager David Moyes who was said to be incandescent in the visitors’
dressing-room after Fellaini was clearly caught on camera thrusting his
head into Shawcross’s face.
Moyes is known to despise such acts
of thuggery and feels let down by one of his most important players who
is now likely to miss the Christmas fixtures against West Ham, Wigan and
To his credit, after the match the
Scot immediately admitted that Fellaini deserves the punishment coming
his way, describing the headbutt as ‘a terrible thing to do’.
On Sunday night the 25-year-old was
said to be distraught he had let his team-mates down and that his
actions could harm their chances of staying in the top four.
He was the first Everton player off the pitch and later issued a public apology.
Grounded: Shawcross was left in a heap clutching his face after the clash
‘I apologise completely to Ryan
Shawcross, my team-mates and to our fans at the game,’ said Fellaini. ‘I
lost my temper and it was unprofessional.’
Everton’s only issue is that they
feel Shawcross was allowed to get away with holding their player at
set-pieces, even though Fellaini was penalised by Lee Probert for a
similar offence at Manchester City against Edin Dzeko two weeks ago.
Fellaini said: ‘There was a lot of
pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn’t
feel I was getting any protection from the officials.
‘Nevertheless I know I shouldn’t have
done what I did. I have also apologised to the manager and the staff — I
have no excuses.’
Shawcross’s team-mates praised him for not retaliating.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was
particularly outraged by what he had seen and was booked by Halsey when
he complained furiously to the referee.
Retrospective action: Fellaini could face an FA charge after this incident
‘I was a little bit unhappy with what
was going on, and the holding and the shirt pulling and everything
else that wasn’t really being dealt with,’ said Begovic.
‘Ryan’s got good composure. Sometimes
it’s easy to retaliate but then he would have only hurt himself. He
did really well to control himself.
‘Fellaini is a great player but it’s
just an unfortunate thing and I’m sure it will be dealt with properly.
People know they have to come here and compete with us, and sometimes
they can go a little bit overboard.’
Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson was
punished retrospectively with a three-game ban in September when he was
found guilty of violent conduct towards Manchester City striker Mario
He said: ‘I thought Ryan dealt with
it really well. If it was out of order then you hold your hands up and
take your punishment. It happened to me this season.’
Shawcross was at the centre of everything in this typically hard-fought game between these two teams.
He headed into his own goal to give
Everton the lead and then supplied the pass for Kenwyne Jones to
equalise and preserve Stoke’s 15-game unbeaten home run.