The Football Association has decided not punish Burnley’s Ashley Barnes for his dangerous challenge on Nemanja Matic with the recipient of the tackle instead banned for three games following his retaliation.
Barnes made a late high footed tackle on the Serbian midfielder during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against the Clarets at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon which provoked the former Benfica midfielder to shove the Burnley man to the ground having crumbled onto the floor himself moments earlier.
John Terry and Kurt Zouma tried to restrain him but the damage had been done, and referee Martin Atkinson had little choice but to brandish the red card for Matic who will now miss three games including the Capital One Cup final on 1st March against Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues are set to appeal Matic’s ban but it is unlikely that it will be overturned and Jose Mourinho has been fuming over the past couple of days about the injustice of it all.
Making a surprise appearance on Sky Sportsa Goals on Sunday, Mourinho blamed Barnes for making a “criminal challenge” and further emphasised on his belief that there has been a running “campaign” against his side this season.
a I cana t find the word to describe what that player did,a he said on Goals. a I can clearly understand that football is about emotions and sometimes you lose emotions. Clearly, Matic had a reason to lose his emotions. What could be the consequence of his push for the other player? Nothing. The consequence for Matic could be end of career.”
a This could have been the end of his career. Because I cana t find another adjective stronger. I just say this is end of career. Matic is a lucky guy.a
The FA clarified its decision for not punishing Barnes on Twitter over five posts. The FA said:
a FA clarification on the incident involving Burnleya s Ashley Barnes and Chelseaa s Nemanja Matic to follow:”
“In the vast majority of challenges for the ball, no retrospective action is taken as the incident has been seen by the match officials.
“Retrospective action introduced as deterrent for ‘off the ball incidents’ [e.g. kicks, stamps etc.] committed out of sight of officials.
“Whole game in agreement that, in vast majority of cases, match officials are best-placed to deal with incidents to avoid re-refereeing.
“In line with this rationale, FA confirm no further action in relation to Ashley Barnes as incident was seen by the officials.”