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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 06:53 GMT 07:53 UK
Mascherano fury at Defoe let-off
(Left to right) Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, referee Steve Bennett and West Ham's Javier Mascherano
Referee Steve Bennett booked Defoe and Mascherano
West Ham's Javier Mascherano believes Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe should have been sent off for appearing to bite the midfielder in Sunday's match.

Fifa regulations mean the Football Association cannot take action against Defoe, who was booked for what boss Martin Jol called a "comical nibble".

"To receive a bite was the worst thing that has happened to me since I came to England," said Mascherano.

"The strangest thing was that the referee did not send him off."

The incident followed a foul by Mascherano on Defoe towards the end of the first half.

"Things weren't going well for me but this was unexpected and outrageous," added Mascherano.

Both players were given yellow cards by referee Steve Bennett over the incident and, under Fifa rules, this means the case is closed.

The referee was standing over me and if he felt I had done something bad he would have sent me off

Jermain Defoe

An FA spokesman said: "We are unable to take any action because the referee has already dealt with the incident.

"Fifa regulations prevent us from taking retrospective action."

Manchester City defender Ben Thatcher was punished by the FA after the event earlier this season when his forearm smash left Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes in hospital.

However, that incident was deemed exceptional because Mendes suffered serious injury but, in most cases, the FA's hands are tied because of Fifa's stance on the issue of retrospective punishment.

Defoe felt his actions had been "blown out of all proportion".

"The referee was standing over me and if he felt I had done something bad he would have sent me off," said the 24-year-old.

"The incident doesn't look great on TV and I accept that as a role model to kids I have a responsibility to conduct myself in the right way.

"When the West Ham player fouled me, I reacted in a bit of a mischievous way - my character is a little like that at times."

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