A Case of Mistaken Identity?
By The Blue Panther, Tue 24 January 2012 10:30
When is a stamp not a stamp? When the media says it's not? When is dubious violent conduct to be prosecuted? When the alleged miscreant isn't English? Compare and contrast the cases of Lescott and Balotelli from the weekend and it's difficult to arrive at any other view. There's no racism in football is there - is there?
When is it safe to speak openly about the furore which has followed in the aftermath of the cracking match we saw on Sunday? I hesitate to say anything for fear of making things worse, but, I'm so fed up with what's going on in the media at the moment - especially having heard overnight that the Spanish FA aren't taking any action against Pepe for what was a very obvious stamp on Lionel Messi's hand last week - that I might as well go for it; whatever I say in a blog isn't going to make a difference is it - is it?
Mario's action on Sunday hasn't been an alleged stamp since full time on Sunday. There has been no doubt about it on TV, radio or the press. No 'alleged'; no 'apparent'; it was a stamp - end of. So, what's the chance of the FA panel withstanding the hurricane storm worked up in the media against City, and acquitting Mario if he appeals? Slim, to nil, I reckon.
I, like everyone else in the football world, have watched and watched and watched the video clips from Sunday - when being force-fed, like Alex in 'A Clockwork Orange', there's little choice! I hope sincerely that it was an accident, and that Mario will appeal. Only he can truly know what was in his mind - though some in the media would have us believe that he has no mind.
I believe that the offence cannot be proved. In the moment before the alleged stamp, his feet are off the floor, and it is at this point that he is pushed in the back by Modric. I have not imagined this. I've seen it countless times, but, nobody in the media has commented on the push in the back. He is clearly off balance thereafter, and I honestly believe (how stupid am I?) his right foot comes down quickly because otherwise he will fall. He is not in control of where his foot lands.
Let's face it, having played football, if I was Mario and I wanted to 'do' Parker, I could have 'done' him much more thoroughly by leaving my foot up and walking through Parker after the initial shot. Instead, there was an accidental contact with Parker's head after the shot, and thereafter, Mario is airborne and it is then that he is pushed in the back and his right foot comes down suddenly as a part of regaining balance. That's it. The truth? Blue tinted specs? Maybe, but, who can prove otherwise?
Mario's already been hung drawn and quartered in the media. He's been convicted by not only Lord Alan Brazil but also the splendidly right honourable Sir Ray (My Word!)Wilkins in the Talk Sport Courts this morning; widely stated to have nothing between his ears, and been in receipt of plenty of other racist based taunts. (Would a white/English player have been described - Ron Atkinsonesque - as having nothing between the ears?)
If he's banned, so be it, but, f*** 'em all - I hope City appeal. If the worst comes to the worst, he can try to get off on a technicality as, according to that doyen of football summarisers, Chris Coleman, Balotelli wasn't even on the pitch; it was some other new signing in the name of Bolicelli - Da Silva can be called as a witness to that, can't he!
It must have been Bolicelli - I heard it on Sky.