Fans blamed as Adebayor escapes ban

MANCHESTER CITY striker Emmanuel Adebayor yesterday escaped a ban for his controversial celebration against Arsenal after the Football Association accepted he had suffered &ldquo;extreme provocation&rdquo;.<br /><br />Adebayor was initially charged with improper conduct for marking a goal against his former club last month by running the length of the pitch to parade in front of Gunners supporters. But the FA relented after a three-and-a-half-hour hearing at Wembley and opted to hand Adebayor a suspended two-match ban and a fine of &pound;25,000.<br /><br />The decision means City&rsquo;s top scorer, who has just completed a three-match ban for violent conduct in the same match, is free to face Aston Villa in Monday&rsquo;s Premier League fixture.<br /><br />City manager Mark Hughes consistently defended the 25-year-old, arguing that abuse from the Arsenal fans, with whom he fell out in his final season at the Emirates, was a major mitigating factor. And although they issued Adebayor with a reprimand, the FA said a major factor in their decision not to ban him had been the behaviour of the travelling support.<br /><br />&ldquo;In reaching its decision the Commission took into account his admission of the charge, public apology and the extremely provocative nature of the abuse he received,&rdquo; read an FA statement. &ldquo;However, the commission also stated that players have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a proper manner and that such celebrations are unacceptable and have the potential to cause a serious public order incident.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hughes said: &ldquo;There has been a lot said and written about Emmanuel&rsquo;s goal celebration. We are just glad to put it all behind us now.&rdquo;