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
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
”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
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