LONDON (AFP) –
Newcastle United expressed their “disappointment” Tuesday with both the FA and Wigan chairman Dave Whelan after the governing body said Callum McManaman would escape disciplinary action over his tackle on Magpies’ full-back Massadio Haidara.
McManaman, who was making his first league start, caught Haidara on the knee with his studs after careering into a tackle midway through the first half at the DW Stadium on Saturday in a Premier League match Wigan eventually won 2-1.
The French full-back, 20, had to be carried off on a stretcher, but referee Mark Halsey did not punish 21-year-old McManaman for the challenge.
An FA statement Tuesday said that as match officials had seen the incident, the governing body was powerless to take retrospective disciplinary action.
“Where one of the officials has seen a coming together of players, no retrospective action should be taken, regardless of whether he or she witnessed the full or particular nature of the challenge,” the FA said in a statement. “This is to avoid the re-refereeing of incidents,
“In the case of McManaman, it has been confirmed that at least one of the match officials saw the coming together, though not the full extent of the challenge. In these circumstances retrospective action cannot be taken.”
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan defended McManaman’s conduct on Monday, telling the BBC: “The ball was there and McManaman got the ball as clear as a whistle, then followed through and they collided.
The injury curtailed his playing career, but the Latics chairman said both Norman Deeley, the player who tackled him, and McManaman were equally blameless.
However, Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias said he was “disappointed” by Whelan’s comments and urged the FA to revise their rulebook.
“I am… disappointed and surprised by the comments he made yesterday (Monday), in particular his assertion that the tackle by Callum McManaman ‘was a fair challenge’,” Llambias said.
“It is our strongly held opinion that the tackle on Massadio was extremely dangerous and is the type of challenge that has the potential to cause serious harm and such was the force, and reckless and dangerous nature of the challenge, even end a player’s career.
“We are disappointed to learn that the FA is not going to charge the Wigan player… It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose.”
Haidara suffered potential knee ligament damage in the incident, which sparked a half-time row on the touchline that saw Newcastle assistant manager John Carver and Wigan coach Graham Barrow sent to the stands.
Newcastle also announced Tuesday that Carver had been charged with misconduct by the FA for his part in the incident.