Branislav Ivanovic Charged With Violent Conduct, Mario Balotelli Off Scot-Free
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will not received a violent conduct charge despite his horrendous tackle on Alex Song at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, but Bransilave Ivanovic is not so lucky.
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The incident, which was not originally spotted by referee Mike Dean or any of the assistant referees on the day, has been investigated following video evidence which appears to show the Serbian defender striking Maloney in the stomach moments before Juan Mata netted the winning goal.
Ivanovic has established himself as one of, if not the best Chelsea defender this season, with important goals to compliment his no-nonsense style of play from the right-back position.
He'll face a three game ban if found guilty, which would start immediately, leaving Chelsea without his services for the FA Cup semifinal with Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, along with crucial London derby clashes with Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers in the coming weeks.
Somewhat ironically, Ivanovic scored earlier in the game whilst in an offside position, and now any further punishment for the 28-year old would be a kick in the teeth to Roberto Martinez. The Latics boss was highly critical of the decision, and now could see Chelsea weakened whilst they take on Queens Park Rangers, who are fighting along with the Lancashire side for their Premier League survival.
Ivanovic has until 6pm (GMT) on Wednesday to respond to the charges, and make any appeal.
Mario Balotelli will not face punishment over his awful tackle against Alex Song during Manchester City's 1-0 loss to Arsenal on Sunday. In the first half, the ersatz winger went for a semi-loose ball against the Cameroon international and ended up implanting his studs into Song's locked knee. It was a tackle that was worthy of a straight red card and a lengthy ban, a tackle that could have seen the Arsenal midfielder badly injured.
And play continued. The assumption was that none of the officials had seen the incident (which was, in retrospect, rather strange, because there was an assistant right next to the play), and that Balotelli - who'd later pick up two yellow cards for nasty fouls on Bacary Sagna - would be retroactively punished for the attack on Song. But, say the FA, that's not going to happen. Their excuse?
Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge.
Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the Match Officials saw the players coming together. The normal scenarios in which retrospective action is taken are for ‘off the ball’ incidents.
In other words, someone saw a player's leg nearly get taken off and did nothing about it, which means the FA can do nothing about it. That's the rule, I suppose, but it's a bit of a weird one. To the rest of the world, justice has by no means been done.