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Balotelli escapes sanction, no reprieve for Derry

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli will face no further action for a tackle on Alex Song but QPR’s Shaun Derry had his ban upheld on Tuesday.

The English Football Association (FA) also confirmed Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic had been charged with violent conduct after punching Wigan’s Shaun Maloney.

Balotelli – who was sent off for the third time this season at Arsenal on Sunday – was not carded for his horror tackle on Song in the early stages of the same match.

The Italian faced a potential nine-game ban following the tackle, but the FA announced the enigmatic forward would not be the recipient of further punishment.

“Retrospective action in relation to the incident involving Mario Balotelli of Manchester City and Alex Song of Arsenal, which occurred in the 20th minute of Sunday’s game, will not be taken,” a statement on the FA’s website read.

“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.

“Retrospective action was introduced for off the ball incidents where there was no contest for possession and could not be deemed to be re-refereeing an incident.

“In agreement with FIFA, this is how ‘not seen’ incidents are dealt with retrospectively in England. It is a policy that is agreed with all football stakeholders.”

Also on Sunday, Derry was controversially sent off at Old Trafford after he made minimal contact with Manchester United’s Ashley Young, who flung himself to the ground in the penalty area, winning a spot-kick that was converted by Wayne Rooney.

The decision appeared unjust and saw QPR reduced to 10 men in the early stages of a match which Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won 2-0.

QPR immediately appealed the ban but it was rejected on Tuesday, ruling Derry out of Wednesday’s crucial home fixture against Swansea City as the Loftus Road outfit bids to avoid relegation.

The FA also confirmed Ivanovic would be charged after they reviewed evidence from a match which Chelsea won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, partly thanks to the Serbian defender’s second-half goal.

Chelsea have until 6pm (local time) on Wednesday to respond to the charge.

If the ruling stands, Ivanovic will be banned for three matches, including his club’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham on Sunday.

Tue 10 April, 2012
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