Haidara angry at FA for taking no McManaman action

Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara feared his career had been

”ruined” by Callum McManaman’s knee-high tackle and is angry that

the English Football Association took no action against the Wigan

midfielder.

McManaman escaped punishment for his violent challenge on

Haidara in the Premier League last Sunday after the FA said this

week its rules don’t allow retroactive action in this case.

McManaman was not sent off.

Much to Haidara’s disbelief and relief, scans have showed he

suffered no broken bones or ligament damage.

”It’s hard to swallow. I don’t understand. He could have ruined

my career and my life, and he will play again before I do,”

Haidara said on Thursday in an interview with French daily Le

Parisien. ”It’s ridiculous. Players must be protected. This can no

longer be tolerated in football.”

Haidara was carried off on a stretcher and taken to a hospital

with an injury to his left knee after McManaman’s ugly challenge in

the first half. The challenge didn’t even draw a free kick, as

referee Mark Halsey appeared to have his view of the incident

blocked by a player.

”I felt his studs on my leg, an unbearable pain,” Haidara

said. ”I was in such pain that I could no longer think. I was in

shock. Then, you start thinking about everything. I thought that

maybe I would never play football again.”

That challenge came only weeks after Saint-Etienne midfielder

Jeremy Clement’s ankle was snapped in two after an equally

dangerous lunge by Nice midfielder Valentin Eysseric, who was

banned until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old Haidara, who joined Newcastle from Nancy in

January, watched footage of McManaman’s challenge only hours

later.

”Yes, the same evening. I had never seen such a tackle in my

life and then the tackle happens to me,” Haidara said. ”When I

think about it, I get a chill down my spine.

”The knee ligaments haven’t been affected, I’m very relieved. I

was very scared when it happened. I thought that McManaman had

broken my leg in two or killed my knee. I couldn’t bend my leg, it

was horrible.”

The incident sparked anger in the Newcastle dugout, with

assistant manager John Carver having to be restrained as he tried

to confront McManaman at halftime. The FA’s decision on McManaman

was also met with fury by Newcastle.

”On the spur of the moment I was very angry with (McManaman).

Now that I know I’ve escaped serious injury I’ve taken a step back

and I no longer hold it against him,” Haidara said. ”I just hope

that it serves as a lesson for him and that he’ll be able to

control himself next time.”

Haidara was willing to talk with McManaman.

”I’ve been told he wants to speak to me, for the time being it

hasn’t happened yet,” Haidara said. ”There is a language barrier

but I think we will try and see each other with an

interpreter.”