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FA decides not to charge Man City's Balotelli for tackle on Arsenal's Song

The Football Association have allowed Mario Balotelli to escape further punishment following Manchester City's loss to Arsenal on Sunday.

The Italian striker was sent off for two bookable offences in the 1-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium but could have received a straight red for a horror challenge on Alex Song in the first half.

Balotelli's studs-up tackle went largely unnoticed by match officials on the day, with the FA looking into the matter in the aftermath, but they found that because at least one of the four referees saw, retrospective action cannot be taken.

"Retrospective action in relation to the incident involving Mario Balotelli of Manchester City and Alex Song of Arsenal, which occurred in the 20th minute of Sunday's game, will not be taken," read a statement from the FA.

"Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge.

"Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the Match Officials saw the players coming together. The normal scenarios in which retrospective action is taken are for 'off the ball' incidents.

"Retrospective action was introduced for off the ball incidents where there was no contest for possession and could not be deemed to be re-refereeing an incident.

"In agreement with FIFA, this is how 'not seen' incidents are dealt with retrospectively in England. It is a policy that is agreed with all football stakeholders."

Balotelli was facing a potential nine-match ban for both charges but will now most likely only serve three for his initial red card.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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