'Reluctant' Vieira accepts FA charge

BY foxsports • February 18, 2010

The Manchester City midfielder was charged on Wednesday after appearing to kick Glenn Whelan between the legs during Tuesday's 1-1 Premier League draw with Stoke. A club statement on Thursday night read: "Patrick Vieira has reluctantly decided not to contest the FA charge of violent conduct." The 33-year-old, who was making only his second start for City following a January move from Inter Milan, had until 6pm on Thursday night to answer the charge. Vieira said: "At no time did I intend to injure Glenn Whelan. I apologised to him at the time. My foot did make contact with him but I carried no malice at all toward him." The FA will decide on Vieira's punishment on Friday but it would be a major surprise if it was anything other than a three-game ban, which would rule him out of Premier League matches against Liverpool and Chelsea and the FA Cup fifth-round replay at Stoke. Vieira was no stranger to the FA or disciplinary action during his nine years at Arsenal, accumulating 100 bookings and 10 red cards before joining Inter in 2005. Stoke manager Tony Pulis was enraged that referee Alan Wiley took no action after Vieira appeared to kick out following a challenge by Whelan in the first half of the league game. Similar cases of the FA taking retrospective action have seen Stoke's Robert Huth and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand banned in recent months. Pulis referred to the Huth incident as he called for "parity" after Tuesday's game. "We had a player given a three-game suspension after an incident a couple of months back," he said. "There were incidents in the first half with Man City players where I think it is as bad if not worse." Since joining City, Vieira has already been booked twice in four appearances. His first came against Hull earlier this month before he received another yellow card on Tuesday for a separate foul on Mamady Sidibe.

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