FULHAM defender Sascha Riether has until 6pm tonight to answer a Football Association charge of violent conduct following an apparent stamp on Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj on Saturday.
The incident, in the final minutes of Fulham’s 3-1 defeat at Craven Cottage, was not spotted by referee Lee Probert but subsequently reviewed by a panel of three former referees, under an FA pilot scheme, who felt retrospective charges should be brought. He faces a three-match ban if found guilty.
An FA statement read: “Riether is the first player to have been charged retrospectively by the FA under a new pilot project for potential ‘not seen’ incidents in Premier League matches.
“Previously, where the match officials had confirmed to the FA that none of them had seen an incident, the match referee was then asked to review all available video evidence before being asked what action, if any, he would have taken had it been seen.
“Under the new process, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees Steve Dunn, Eddie Wolstenholme and Alan Wiley will be asked by the FA to review it and advise what, if any action, they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time.
“For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. In this instance, the panel were of the unanimous decision that it was an act of violent conduct.”
Januzaj burst on to the scene with two goals in his first Manchester United start at Sunderland last month. He has since held down a regular starting berth and manager David Moyes yesterday called for referees to protect the Belgian-born teenager.
“I think Adnan is going to need a little bit more protection if we’re going to find he’s going to get kicked up and down,” said Moyes.
“He deserves a little bit more than he’s getting at the moment.”