FA to look into Adebayor conduct

Van Persie receives treatment after clashing with Adebayor
Van Persie receives treatment after clashing with Adebayor

The Football Association is to “take a close look” at two incidents involving Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor from Saturday’s game against Arsenal.

He caught former team-mate Robin van Persie in the face with his boot and raced 90 metres to celebrate his goal in front of the away fans.

FA chief Ian Watmore told BBC Sport: “I was unimpressed because of the problems between the Arsenal fans and Adebayor.

“We’ll look at it on Monday and then bring it to the disciplinary process.”

Adebayor escaped punishment on the pitch following the Van Persie incident, although he was booked for his inflammatory goal celebration.

Watmore would not be drawn on the possible length of any ban Adebayor could face.

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“I thought the stewards did a great job of calming the situation down and it was to Manchester City’s credit nothing worse happened,” Watmore told BBC radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme.

“Our governance team will take a good look at both of the incidents that have been highlighted and will come to the media with the answers early next week.

“The punishments are the decision of the individual commission, if we get that far.”

Adebayor fell out of favour with the Arsenal fans over a drawn out transfer saga in the summer of 2008 when he was linked with moves to Italian side AC Milan and Barcelona of Spain before signing a contract extension to 2012 at the Emirates.

However, the Togo international, who had again pledged his loyalty to the Gunners at the end of last season, switched to Manchester City, after lengthy negotiations, for a fee in the region of £25m in July.

Most of the immediate talk after Saturday’s game at Eastlands had initially centred on the 25-year-old’s baiting of Arsenal fans after scoring City’s third goal in the 4-2 victory.

But Van Persie then claimed Adebayor deliberately injured him during the Premier League game at Eastlands.

In a statement, Van Persie said he was “sad and disappointed” by Adebayor’s “mindless and malicious stamp on me”.

The Dutchman added: “He set out to hurt me today. I do feel lucky that I have not received a greater injury.”

Adebayor says it was unintentional and claims he apologised.

“I was trying to kick the ball,” he told Sky Sports. “I see him tackling and I don’t have time to take my feet back because I’m trying to kick the ball.

Adebayor apologies for goal celebration

“My feet touch his head. I feel sorry for him and even straight away, and at the end of the game, I said sorry.”

However, Van Persie, 26, is adamant that the contact was deliberate.

“I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made,” he said in a statement published on the Arsenal website.

“He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful.

“The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It’s bad for the game we all love.”

He continued: “We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical. I, too, have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent.

“I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It’s bad for the game we all love.

“He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.

“We do not hide from the disappointment of losing the match but I need to speak out about his behaviour.”

After finding the net with 10 minutes to go, Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the visiting fans, evoking a furious reaction.

“The emotion took over me,” admitted an apologetic Adebayor after the match. “Now I just have to say sorry.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he wanted to see a replay before deciding whether there was any intent on Adebayor’s behalf.

Arsenal lacked sharpness – Wenger

“I didn’t really see what happened,” said the Frenchman.

“I have to see it again to see if it was on purpose or not. I can’t say anything at the moment.”

City boss Mark Hughes also said he had not seen the incident but admitted he would be disappointed if it was allowed to overshadow a thrilling victory, in which five goals were scored in an amazing half-hour blitz in the second half.

“We are hopeful that the game itself will be the shining light rather than any one incident,” said Hughes.

“We do not want it to cast a shadow on an outstanding game, but we will have to see what happens.”

City were leading through Manuel Almunia’s bizarre own-goal when Van Persie equalised.

Craig Bellamy then put the home side in front before Adebayor got his name on the scoresheet and embarked on his ill-judged celebrations.

“When I score a goal, for two or three seconds I can’t control myself,” he said. “To be honest, I’m very sorry for all this.

“Before the game, people have been saying and writing things. The emotions took over. People who love me and know me know how I behave.”

It later emerged that a match steward needed hospital treatment after being hit by a flying object in the wake of Adebayor’s goal celebration.

Important win for Man City – Hughes

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “The steward received a head injury from a flying object which appeared to have been thrown from the direction of the away end.

“We were told the steward was unconscious for a few seconds before being taken to hospital and later discharged.”

The spokesman, who could not confirm whether the steward was male or female, said police would investigate the assault.

Meanwhile, Hughes preferred to concentrate on the positives rather than castigate Adebayor for his celebration.

“Emmanuel was outstanding today,” said the City boss.

“Amid some high quality goals, perhaps the best piece of skill was his run down the byline to set up Shaun Wright-Phillips for the chance he missed.

“If that had gone in, it would have been goal of the season. He is an outstanding talent and the best in the world at what he does.”

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