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 in Manchester City’s controversial 4-2 defeat of Arsenal on Saturday.
It seems certain the English FA will this week charge the £25 million (€29m) Manchester City forward with violent conduct for his woeful attack on Robin van Persie’s face.
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 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, which 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.
That seems unlikely following Watmore’s comments yesterday: “I was pretty unimpressed really.
“The problems between the Arsenal fans and Adebayor are well documented, and he ran the whole length of the field to celebrate, so I think we’re going to have a good close look at that one. The stewards did a great job of calming the situation down and it was to Manchester City’s credit nothing worse happened. Our governance team will take a good look at both of the incidents that have been highlighted and will come to the media with the answers early next week.”
A fuming Van Persie was clearly in no mood to cut Adebayor any slack either.
“The contact was only centimetres from my eye,” he blasted. “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.”
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