McManaman not punished after tackle

March 19, 2013

Wigan midfielder Callum McManaman escaped punishment for his violent challenge on Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara after the Football Association said Tuesday its rules don't allow it to take retroactive action in this case.

McManaman was not sent off during the game and the FA said it could not impose a retroactive ban because ''at least one of the match officials saw the coming together'' in Sunday's Premier League match.

The governing body added that it was powerless to act even though the official - presumably a linesman - didn't see ''the full extent of the challenge.''

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 of Wigan's 2-1 win. The challenge didn't even draw a free kick, as referee Mark Halsey appeared to have his view of the incident blocked by another player.


The full extent of Haidara's injury hasn't been determined.

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, and the FA's decision was met with similar fury on Tuesday.

''It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose,'' Newcastle said in a statement. ''Newcastle United, along with other clubs, have had players suspended for incidents reviewed after the game. Whilst not trivializing these incidents, they were not, in our opinion, of the seriousness of Callum McManaman's tackle on Haidara.

''Whilst we understand that the current procedures give the FA limited options, it cannot be correct that the most serious offenses - those which have the potential to cause another player serious harm - can go unpunished, even if the original incident was seen by match officials.''

Newcastle said the challenge was ''reckless and dangerous,'' one that could ''end a player's career.'' Haidara will undergo a further scan next week and there has been no timescale for his recovery, the statement read.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, whose career was cut short when he sustained a broken leg in a challenge in the 1960 FA Cup final, defended McManaman on Monday, saying he got the ball ''as clean as a whistle.''

The FA is against taking retrospective action if officials saw a particular incident ''to avoid the re-refereeing of incidents.''