Adebayor hit with two FA charges
Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor has been hit with two charges by the Football Association after his side’s 4-2 win over former club Arsenal.
The 25-year-old striker is charged with violent conduct relating to his alleged stamp on Robin van Persie and has until 1800 BST on Wednesday to respond.
He also faces a charge of improper conduct for his goal celebration in front of the Arsenal supporters.
A separate date will be arranged for a commission to consider the latter.
The Football Association has also asked Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the two clubs to identify supporters involved in any violent and aggravating behaviour.
English football’s governing body said in a statement that it “would like to see anyone found guilty of such behaviour face action through the legal system and banning orders from football.”
If Adebayor is found guilty for his challenge on Van Persie, under the FA’s new fast-track disciplinary system he would be handed a three-match ban which would result in him missing Sunday’s derby against Manchester United.
The £25m summer signing from Arsenal escaped punishment from referee Mark Clattenburg following his clash with the Dutchman.
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But Clattenburg has told the FA he did not see the incident and confirmed that, had he done so, he would have sent Adebayor off for violent conduct.
After avoiding his opponent’s sliding tackle in the middle of the field, Adebayor’s right boot caught Van Persie in the face, leaving him needing treatment for a cut.
“I was trying to kick the ball,” Adebayor told Sky Sports after the match. “I see him tackling and I don’t have time to take my feet back because I’m trying to kick the ball.
“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 subsequently claimed Adebayor had deliberately set out to injure him.
In a statement on Arsenal’s official website, Van Persie said he was “sad and disappointed” by Adebayor’s “mindless and malicious stamp”.
The 26-year-old added: “He set out to hurt me. I do feel lucky that I have not received a greater injury. I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made.
“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.
“I, too, have made hard and sometimes mistimed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent.
“He has shown a real lack of class, 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.”
Adebayor apologises for goal celebration
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, when asked if he agreed with the charges made on his former striker, told BBC Radio 5 live: “I think rightly so, having watched the tape again.”
City boss Mark Hughes told the club’s official website: “Emmanuel sustained a tremendous amount of personal abuse from the kick-off but strongly maintains that there was no malice intended in the challenge on Van Persie and apologised to him when he hugged him on leaving the field of play at the end of the game.”
Most of the talk immediately following the game centred on Adebayor’s inflammatory goal celebration.
After scoring City’s third goal 10 minutes from time, he ran the length of the field and slid on his knees in front of the stand containing the visiting Arsenal supporters.
“The emotion took over me,” said Adebayor. “Now I just have to say sorry.
“It was silly to run up in front of the Arsenal fans but these people have been insulting me all game. Even in the warm-up they were insulting me. They were saying things that are not nice to hear, personal things.
“I didn’t plan it, not at all. I didn’t even know that I would score. The way things were going from the warm-up, at the end it came into my head.”
FA chief executive Ian Watmore told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek show over the weekend that he was “unimpressed” with Adebayor’s actions.
And Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore expressed his frustration on Monday that, after a thrilling match, the focus was on disciplinary issues.
“Of course when these instances come up you’d rather that the talk was about the action and the goals,” he said. “I trust the FA to deal with it and they will do whatever they have to do.
“But these instances, whether they’re on the field and beamed around the world like this one, or isolated instances of bad behaviour off the field, don’t do the image of the league or football in general any good.”
After the match it emerged that a match steward needed hospital treatment after being hit by a flying object in the wake of Adebayor’s goal celebration.
A GMP spokesman stated: “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.
Adebayor added: “I heard that a steward was injured and I regret that. I would like to apologise to the steward for what happened.”
Police have also received a complaint over the behaviour of Van Persie, who is alleged to have celebrated his 62nd-minute goal in front of home fans at Eastlands and mouthed a swear word towards the City supporters.
GMP say they will speak to the supporter who has made the complaint and will then decide whether or not to investigate.