It was reported today that the Football Association will take no further action on the Joey Barton clash with Sunderland’s Dickson Etuhu just before half time, in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.
Barton clashed with Etuhu with his studs high, and the pair clashed afterwards, but the incident was not seen by referee Martin Atkinson.
Joey Barton – has to be extra careful because of his past behavior
An FA spokesman said today:
“The Football Association can only take action in the case of incidents that are not seen by officials.”
“Whilst it is clear that the officials did not see the full extent of the incident, they did see players coming together and to take any further action would be tantamount to re-refereeing the game and this would be contrary to the laws of the game.”
His assistant apparently saw the altercation and according to an FA source, “no-one is suggesting any of them could or should have seen what you might call the misconduct part of the incident”.
Under FIFA guidelines, a retrospective charge for violent conduct can only be given when the match official does not notice the incident at all. The Association’s fast-track disciplinary system is designed to act as an aid to officials for incidents completely out of sight of the referee or his assistants, such as off-the-ball clashes, and replicates action which would have been imposed had the referee or his assistants seen the incident.
We think Joey can thank Sunderland manager Roy Keane for his straight forward common sense comment on the incident following the game. Roy said following the game on Saturday:
“I am not going to get bogged down by a tackle that was slightly high.â€ “That happens in these games, a lot of them are mistimed.â€
“You give and you take. Dickson is a tough lad. He is alive in that dressing room, he won’t be leaving on a stretcher.” /
This statement by Roy helped to calm the situation, since the Setanta Sports TV team actually visited the referee and asked him if he had seen the incident, and what he was going to do about it. Atkinson rightly said he hadnâ€™t seen the incident and he was not going to do anything about it.
But because of Joeyâ€™s past behavior, which we all know has not been good, he is going to have to be even more diligent that he doesnâ€™t get involved in any more of these altercations. We know that Big Sam will let him know this. After that it’s up to Joey, and he cannot afford to make any more mistakes.