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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 10:56 GMT
FA unable to act over Cole tackle
By Chris Bevan

Ashley Cole caught Alan Hutton with a late and high challenge
Cole caught Hutton with a late and high challenge
The Football Association cannot take any further action over Ashley Cole's challenge on Alan Hutton because the Chelsea star was booked for the tackle.

Referee Mike Riley cautioned Cole for a late and high tackle on the Tottenham defender during Wednesday's 4-4 draw.

An FA spokesman told BBC Sport: "The referee saw the incident and dealt with it. We cannot re-referee matches.

"The player was shown a yellow card at the time and the decision is not then looked at retrospectively."


Under Fifa regulations, a decision taken by a referee can only be rectified by a disciplinary committee if the referee sends off the wrong player, or makes an obvious and serious error.

The FA has acted retrospectively to upgrade a booking before, when it suspended Ben Thatcher following his challenge on Pedro Mendes in a game between Manchester City and Portsmouth in August 2006.

But the FA spokesman added: "As we said at the time, that was an exceptional case.

"The reason why Ben Thatcher was charged in addition was because, even if he had been sent off by the referee Dermot Gallagher, we would still have charged him on top.

"That was the rationale we used to charge him with violent conduct."

Chelsea players surrounded Riley after Wednesday's incident at White Hart Lane and Cole turned his back on Riley before he was eventually shown a yellow card.

Spurs boss Juande Ramos said: "In this case the referee decided it was a yellow card but we've seen tackles that were much less serious given red cards."

Blues boss Avram Grant added: "I didn't see it but the referee was very close and I saw everybody jump on him, including the Tottenham bench.

"I know when we are doing this everybody says we are not behaving right. We have a lot of respect for referees."

Riley did not include the reaction of the Chelsea players, or that of Cole, in his match report so no further action will be taken on that matter by the FA.

Tottenham 4-4 Chelsea
19 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Title race is not over yet - Cole
20 Mar 08 |  Football
Thatcher dropped & charged by FA
25 Aug 06 |  Man City


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