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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:37 GMT
Middlesbrough escape FA rap
Robson was furious at Middlesbrough postponement
Robson was furious at Middlesbrough postponement
The Football Association has insisted Middlesbrough do not have a case to answer over the controversial postponement of their home game against Newcastle.

The game was called off shortly before lunchtime on Friday amid concern for the safety of spectators following a heavy snowfall on Teesside.

Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson was furious as his side had hoped to cement their second place in the Premiership.

But opposite number Steve McClaren insisted his team were desperate to play after losing their unbeaten record at the Riverside Stadium earlier in the week, despite suffering injury problems.

I am absolutely furious - how they can call a match off on the Friday beats me

Newcasle manager Sir Bobby Robson

FA spokesman Adrian Bevington said: "Further to reports in the media, the FA would like to clarify that they are not investigating any matters concerning the postponement of the Premier League game involving Middlesbrough and Newcastle yesterday.

"This fixture does not fall within the jurisdiction of the FA's control."

Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given admits he was surprised by the decision to postpone the match on Friday.

He said: "I don't know what the story was to be honest.

"It was called off on Friday lunchtime which was a bit strange because it's a derby and fans would only leave for the game an hour before. Surely they could have left it to Saturday."

Newcastle boss Robson said: "I am absolutely furious. How they can call a match off on the Friday beats me.

"There's been very little will shown by Middlesbrough to play the match and they even turned down our request to play it on Tuesday.

"I wouldn't rule out us taking the matter further," he added.

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