Torres dodges four-game ban over Spurs clash

Frank Dalleres
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CHELSEA striker Fernando Torres has escaped further punishment for his altercation with Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen after the Football Association said it could not take retrospective action.

Torres appeared to scratch or claw at Vertonghen’s face during Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw, although it was unclear whether referee Mike Dean had seen the clash, raising the possibility of a video review.

However the FA said that Dean or his assistants had seen the tangle, “albeit not in its entirety”, meaning it was not in their power to make a retrospective assessment of whether it was worthy of a red card.

Torres received a yellow card at the time, though was later dismissed after incurring a second booking for an aerial challenge on the same player. That earned him an automatic one-match ban.

And manager Jose Mourinho welcomed the FA’s decision not to hit Torres with further sanctions.

“It doesn’t surprise me because the FA represents English football and English football never punishes emotion and aggression,” he said.

“It only punishes when someone doesn’t respect the integrity of the game by cheating and simulation.”


■ The FA has made two significant changes to the way it administers retrospective punishment this season

■ If match officials did not see an incident a panel of former referees is asked to judge what, if any, action should have been taken. Previously refs reviewed the footage themselves

■ On-the-ball incidents are now able to be reviewed, if the match officials’ views were obstructed and saw nothing