Mark Hughes’ plea for Emmanuel Adebayor to be “cut a bit of slack” seems certain to go unheeded following his ugly stamp on Robin van Persie.
It seems certain the Football Association will this week charge the £25m Manchester City forward with violent conduct for his woeful attack on Robin van Persie’s face during Saturday’s 4-2 win over Arsenal.
Adebayor is also set to face a separate charge for his inflammatory goal celebration, which could bring additional punishment, probably leading to an overall ban of at least four matches.
FA chief executive Ian Watmore has confirmed they would “take a good close look” at both incidents, the latter of which referee Mark Clattenburg decided was worthy of a booking.
However, the FA’s disciplinary panel have the power to take additional action, while Clattenburg’s apparent failure to notice what Van Persie insisted was a stamp on the side of his head by the Togo star, leaves the way free for an immediate charge.
That would place a massive question mark over Adebayor’s availability for Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
Adebayor may have claimed his innocence afterwards with respect to the Van Persie incident but there appeared a definite lunge as his foot went towards the floor. And Hughes must now be fearing the worst
“He needs to be cut a little bit of slack given what he has gone through in the last 18 months,” said the City boss.
A fuming Van Persie was clearly in no mood to cut Adebayor any slack either.
“He set out to hurt me and I feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury,” said the Dutchman, who labelled it a “mindless and malicious stamp”.
“The contact was only centimetres from my eye,” he continued. “I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made.
“He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful.”
Van Persie’s statement is as inflammatory as Adebayor’s ill-advised goal celebration, when he ran the full length of the field and slid straight in front of the Arsenal fans, arms wide open as a torrent of abuse rained down. A steward was knocked unconscious in the ensuing melee.
Under the FA’s fast-track system, Adebayor could find himself banned for City’s next three games, which include a Carling Cup tie with Fulham and a home encounter with West Ham after the United encounter.