Premier League

City likely to accept Balotelli ban

Mario Balotelli may not be smiling for much longer if Man City accepts four-match ban.
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Manchester City assistant boss David Platt has hinted that the club will reluctantly accept Mario Balotelli's four-match suspension.

Platt confirmed no talks had taken place amongst the City hierarchy and a final decision would not be made until all relevant parties had an input into discussions.

However, whilst City do have grievances over the manner in which Balotelli's alleged stamp on Scott Parker has been dealt with, Platt accepted the slow-motion pictures "do not look good".

"We are likely to be without a player for four games," said Platt.

City have until 6pm on Wednesday to make their decision. If it is decided to accept the ban, Balotelli would be suspended for the Carling Cup semi-final second-leg at Liverpool.

However, if he appeals, though the Italian forward could play on Wednesday, he runs the risk of having his suspension increased to five games.

And, as City failed to overturn a four-match suspension for Vincent Kompany earlier this month for a far less obvious incident against Manchester United, it would appear they have little chance of success anyway.

"We have not sat down as a group to discuss it," said Platt.

"But I don't think anybody thought we would win an appeal with Vincent Kompany, even though the majority of people didn't feel he deserved a red card or a four-match ban. It shows the futility of an appeal sometimes.

"This looks poor when you slow it down."

What annoys City is that they believe referee Howard Webb got a good enough view of it at the time to reach a decision, opted to do nothing, but then allowed the FA to take control.

"It seems inconsistent," said Platt.

"I have seen it from an angle where I can think the referee saw it live, like I did.

"Other people saw it live and didn't react, nobody, not one of the Tottenham players or staff. The referee didn't react live. It is when you slow it down that all the reactions come.

"I don't know what has gone on but there seems a huge inconsistency in refereeing matches on a Monday morning.

"Shouldn't you revisit everything that has happened over the weekend?"

Platt confirmed he had been asked to address the media by Roberto Mancini in an effort to avoid the Italian's difficulty with the nuances of the English language further fuelling an already delicate situation.

"He spoke to me...and asked me to do it," said Platt.

"A lot of words needed saying and we are in a cauldron where a half phrase can become bigger.

"Whatever I say can get topped and tailed and, in some quarters, won't be reported in the manner I have said it, and I am not talking about the people who are here, but those who are not."
 

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