Home » EPL, Latest » Balotelli set to accept four-match ban for stamp on Parker

Manchester City are ready to accept Mario Balotelli’s four-match ban for violent conduct after assistant manager David Platt suggested an appeal would be ‘futile’.

The controversial Italian striker appeared to stamp on Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker’s head during Sunday’s 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium – before his last-minute penalty winner kept City three points clear of the Barclays Premier League.

Platt confirmed no talks had taken place amongst the City hierarchy and a final decision would not be made until all relevant parties had an input into discussions.

However, whilst 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, who again appeared in place of manager Roberto Mancini at the club’s training ground press conference on Tuesday morning.

‘We found out the information last night and we have not sat down as a group to discuss it.

‘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.’

Balotelli would become the second Manchester City player to incur a four-match ban this month. He has until 6pm on Wednesday to respond to a charge of violent conduct.

It carries a three-match suspension but the volatile Italian striker would serve an extra game because of his dismissal at Liverpool in November.

City skipper Vincent Kompany is still banned after receiving the same punishment a fortnight ago for his second red card of the season.

If Balotelli accepts the charge – which appears  likely now – he will miss a return to Anfield in the  Carling Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday night and league games against  Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa.

Should he contest it, he can play against Liverpool but risks being banned for the home League game against Blackburn instead when the case goes before a disciplinary panel.

What annoys City is that they believe referee Howard Webb got a good enough view of it at the time to reach a decision, opted to do nothing, but then allowed the FA to take control.

‘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?’

The charge came from the Football Association after referee Howard Webb indicated he would have shown a straight red had he seen the incident.

With Parker on the floor after blocking Balotelli’s shot, the City player caught his opponent in the face with his left leg and then appeared to bring his right foot down on the midfielder’s head.

PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle backed any punishment if the 21-year-old, who has three red cards and 15 yellows in his 47 games for City, is found guilty.

‘It’s not proven what his intentions were, but if it’s shown that he did purposefully stamp that’s something we want eradicated,’ said Carlisle.

‘You’re going all out to win, you have the aggression, but you know where to draw the line.’

On Sky on Sunday, pundit Graeme Souness described Balotelli as “a car
Balotelli was branded ‘stupid’ by Mancini following the second of those, against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League last season.

However, the City boss was more forgiving when he was dismissed for two debatable yellow cards during a Premier League meeting with Liverpool at Anfield in November.

There have been other off-field incidents that have sometimes even led to City supporters questioning Balotelli’s contribution, not least the incident in October when fire crews were called to his house in Cheshire when he attempted to set off fireworks in his bathroom.

Platt confirmed he had been asked to address the media by Roberto Mancini 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.’

There was better news for City with the FA deciding not to take action against Joleon Lescott over a clash with Younes Kaboul.

Source: DailyMail

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