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FA clarify why Zlatan Ibrahimovic escaped ban for Manchester derby elbow

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Manchester City fans were left perplexed after the Manchester derby when Zlatan Ibrahmiovic escaped punishment from the FA after using his elbows.

Prior to what was one of the most anticipated Premier League matches since the inception of the division, Sergio Aguero had been banned for three matches after planting his elbow in the face of Winston Reid during City's 3-1 win over West Ham.

Yet, despite clear video evidence that Ibrahimovic directed an elbow in the direction of Nicolas Otamendi, no further action was taken by the FA.

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A baffling decision it may appear on the surface, but the Manchester Evening News decided to ask the officials to explain the rules surrounding situations like this in order to get the full perspective.

They explain that a rule change which was undertaken three years ago is the root of the issue and explains why the United striker escaped further sanctions.

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It dates back to a tackle made by Callum McManaman on Massimo Haidara when Wigan took on Newcastle United.

The English winger caught the French full-back high on the knee with a disgraceful tackle which was seen by the referee who deemed the challenge to be worthy of only a yellow card.

Of course, the official had not noticed the severity of the tackle and this prompted the FA to change the rule to state that they can add to the punishment if they believe the official has missed something when looking at an incident.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

This applied to Aguero's situation; Andre Marriner was clearly looking at both players but failed to notice the elbow from the Argentine. The new ruling then allowed the FA to take charge because an official failed to spot a misdemeanour which was now brought to their attention.

A ban, of course, followed. Ibrahimovic's situation was different; during the derby, Mark Clattenburg actually witnessed the elbow from the Swede and deemed that it was not worthy of a red card.

The English referee had dished out his own punishment for the situation which he viewed in its entirety, and the FA, after viewing it from several different angles, deemed the decision to be fair.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-WEST HAM

So there you have it, a complicated section of English football law explained. As with most decisions like this in football, the real outcome boils down to human perception.

The real lesson learned though should be to just not use your elbows in football at all because all it does, is invite trouble. Yes, that also means you, Marouane Fellaini.

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Topics:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Premier League
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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