Fulham defender Sascha Riether has been charged by the Football Association (FA) with violent conduct for a challenge on Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj that was not seen by the match officials, but dealt with retrospectively under a new scheme.
United manager David Moyes said on Monday the incident late in his side’s 3-1 win at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Saturday was a “bad stamp and it does look deliberate.”
Fulham rightback Riether is the first player to be charged retrospectively by the FA under a pilot project for “not seen” incidents.
Under the new rules, a three-man panel of former elite referees, rather than the match referee, is asked to review such an incident and advise what, if any, action they believe the referee should have taken if he had seen it.
“For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence,” the FA said on its Web site on Monday. “In this instance, the panel were of the unanimous decision that it was an act of violent conduct.”
Riether, whose challenge was missed by referee Lee Probert, had until 6pm yesterday to respond to the charge.
Moyes said 18-year-old Belgian Januzaj deserved more protection from referees and called on the slightly-built forward to seek inspiration from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who has a similarly small frame and rides out challenges.
“I’m certainly not comparing him in any way to Lionel Messi, but the way Messi gets up after getting kicked is how we hope Adnan behaves,” Moyes told a press conference in San Sebastian, Spain, on the eve of yesterday’s UEFA Champions League match at Real Sociedad. “It’s not a case of asking for protection, but, somewhere along the line, if he’s going to keep playing the way he’s playing, then he’s going to need to get some protection. We’ll never ask for it — it’s up to the referees.”