Monday, August 21, 2017

FA to discuss cup semi-final ´brawl´

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Apr 2011

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The Football Association will meet on Monday to discuss the ugly scenes after the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Manchester City on Saturday.

Players had to be separated at the final whistle after City striker Mario Balotelli taunted United supporters by thrusting the badge on his shirt in their direction to celebrate his side’s 1-0 win.

Incensed United duo Rio Ferdinand and Anderson had to be pulled away from Balotelli, who also winked at Ferdinand as the players left the field.

The FA will examine footage of the bust-up but they are unlikely to take any action.

Ferdinand used his Twitter account to attack Balotelli, saying: “If u score a goal+give a bit to opposing fans I kind of accept that but at the final whistle go to your own fans+enjoy it not opposing fans.”

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar refused to become embroiled in the row over Balotelli’s conduct, saying: “He misunderstood which side of the stadium he needed to go to thank the supporters.”

“Maybe in Italy they do things differently. I prefer to talk about football. It is much more important than this kind of thing.”

Balotelli has been at the centre of several controversies during his career but City boss Roberto Mancini claimed he did not see the incident.

“I want to wait because every time, ‘It’s Balotelli’s fault’.”

When events were described to him, Mancini joked: “We can put him in jail?

“Next week, we can put him in jail for this. I am sorry that people will talk about what happened after the match. Nothing big happened.”

City’s first team coach David Platt echoed the views of Mancini and put the reaction of the players at the full-time whistle down to the release they would have felt at reaching the showpiece final.

“The scenes at the end were just a release of tension,” he said.

“We knew we were up against it, we believe we are a good side but we knew we were up against a side who have been there before and they have a mentality to win big football matches.”

Platt also praised the maturity shown by former Inter Milan striker Balotelli during the game.

“His performance on the pitch showed a great deal more maturity, the scenes at the final whistle should not have happened but let’s not let that mar what was a great day for us,” he said.

“He is only young and he can’t stay out of the headlines and a lot is said about that. Perhaps he shouldn’t have done what he did in terms of going over to the Man United fans and it isn’t a case of defending him, it was something and nothing at the final whistle.”

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