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Balotelli escapes further punishment for Song tackle

BalotelliSong (Getty Images)

It doesn't happen all that often, but Mario Balotelli caught a break.

Balotelli will not be disciplined any further for his studs-up stomp on Arsenal midfielder Alex Song's knee in their match over the weekend, The FA announced on Tuesday. It appears that Balotelli has escaped further punishment — which reports said could have been up to nine games — because of a technicality. Because the incident was seen by at least one match official, it is not subject to more discipline, per FA rules. 

"Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge," The FA wrote in a statement. "Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the Match Officials saw the players coming together. The normal scenarios in which retrospective action is taken are for ‘off the ball’ incidents. Retrospective action was introduced for off the ball incidents where there was no contest for possession and could not be deemed to be re-refereeing an incident."

Balotelli will still serve a three-game suspension for being sent off in the match for a pair of other incidents.

What do you think of this development? Do you think Balotelli's stomp merited a bigger suspension?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Rooney and Bellamy have been pretty good discipline wise at least in the last few years. I think Rooney has 0 reds or yellows this season in the EPL

  2. The FA did nothing when DeJong broke Ben Arfa’s leg last season, so the answer to your question would be “yes.”

  3. I guess if you call an ACE and ACE your comments will not get posted …

    Ballotelli is an idiot but he did not “stomp on … Song’s knee”

  4. [sarcasm]

    Let me break your leg then. I’ll apologize afterwards and everything will be right as rain!

    I’m sure you’d even let me date your sister afterwards…


  5. The FA is so spineless… Don’t care what two jerseys the players involved were wearing, or what league in the world they were playing in, that challenge should not be swept under a rug.

  6. That’s the dumbest explanation I’ve ever heard. So if any match official sees a foul and for whatever reason (judgement call, stupidity, a nice pile of $ in a discrete brown paper sack) doesn’t call it, the offender gets a free pass?

    How does that make sense? Are they afraid the widdle referees will get their feelings hurt if their decisions are under review?

    Player safety should supersede a referee’s self-esteem!

  7. BS answer from the FA. Studs up on Song’s knee (or any other) should be a straight red and if it’s not given during the match, punishment should be given afterwards. If one of the officials saw it and didn’t call anything, they should be suspended for not doing their job. Eduaurdo, Ramsey and Diaby have all had horrific injuries from tackles just like this and the FA just spouts off BS answers instead of doing something about it. Shocking decision. Also BS that Derry’s red won’t be overturned either even though Young was a yard offside before the minimal contact that brought him down.

  8. The match official who “saw” the tackle should serve the suspension Mario should have gotten. That was a potentially career-ending tackle. A travesty.

  9. The fact that an official saw this in game and did nothing is terrible. That individual needs to be removed until he understands that potentially ending someone’s career should warrant a foul.

    It would be best if the entire FA would just fire themselves, they are all awful. No suspension for Balotelli but the Derry suspension is upheld? Do they even have brains?


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