Manchester City likely to accept Mario Balotelli's four-match ban
The Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli is likely to accept his four-match ban for violent conduct.
The Manchester City assistant manager, David Platt, has hinted that the club will reluctantly accept Mario Balotelli's four-match suspension.
Balotelli was charged with violent conduct by the Football Association on Monday after appearing to stamp deliberately on Scott Parker during Sunday's 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. He will automatically receive a four-match ban unless City successfully appeal.
Platt confirmed no talks had taken place among the City hierarchy and a final decision would not be made until all relevant parties had an input into discussions.
However, while 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 Wednesday night's Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Liverpool. However, if City submit an appeal which is considered by the FA to be frivolous, though the Italian forward could play against Liverpool, he could then have 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 found out the information last night and 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."
City feel aggrieved that the FA took over the decision making after the referee Howard Webb did not act during the match. "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 this morning 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 last night 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 today 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."
Source: the guardian