Writer: Ryan Kalisz
Date:Sunday March 27 2011
Stoke`s fan favorite Ricardo Fuller has avoided punishment from the FA for his off-the-ball kick at Joey Barton, purely because TV cameras didn`t capture the incident.
The incident took place during the 4-0 thumping of Newcastle Untied at The Britannia Stadium, but it was not seen by referee Lee Mason, his assistants or even the fourth official. So when the Football Association received complaints, they launched an investigation.
It was reported that the FA wrote to Stoke and the TV companies covering the game to try and find video evidence of the incident. But after drawing a blank, they had to reluctantly end their investigation.
Coincidently; Joey Barton found himself in a similar situation earlier in the season when he punched Blackburn midfielder Morten Gamst Pederson. But like with Fuller, the FA couldn`t find any video evidence.
An FA spokesman commented: "We are mandated to enquire about incidents when they have been brought to our attention and we can confirm we received correspondence in relation to this matter.
"But as with any retrospective incident, we can only bring action when there is evidence and although we made extensive efforts to track down footage from broadcasters we have found that none exists.
"We appreciate the views of those who took the time to contact us be we cannot bring a charge where there is no evidence, as we would have to prove any charge at an independent commission.
"It is very unusual that in a high profile Premier League fixture we come up against this problem."
Although I am against any kind of violence or abusive behavior on the field, and I`m sad that Ricardo hit out like that, but I have to say that half of me is pleased Fuller got off. Of course Fuller shouldn`t have done what he did against the Newcastle man, which is why the other half of me says he and all other players who lose their cool in that manner should be punished.
But Joey Barton has history himself and everyone knows it, so some will say it`s a taste of his own medicine.
Fuller is very lucky to escape with perhaps a warning, and will indeed need to learn from this. But I have no sympathy for Barton at all. He seems to thrive on being a thug and it isn`t the kind of player that impressionable minds should look up to. He is a handful at the best of times.
Yes there`s being passionate and there`s often 'being caught up in the moment`, which is what Fuller experienced, but there`s no room for hot-heads like Barton. Not in my game anway.
Date:Sunday March 27 2011
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