Whelan set to escape FA action following horror challenge

The Stoke City midfielder looks certain to avoid any retrospective action from the FA after his ugly tackle left Manchester City's Javi Garcia on the floor in agony
Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan will face no further action from the FA after his horror tackle on Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia.

Whelan launched into a two-footed stamp on Garcia, with one foot landing on his ankle. Fortunately, the Spanish international escaped from the challenge without a serious injury.

Referee Howard Webb took no action against Whelan and did not even award a free kick, with FA rules stating that no retrospective action can be taken for "on-the-ball" incidents seen by match officials.

An FA spokesman this morning told Goal.com: "As far as we're aware the referee saw the incident and it is not our policy to re-referee games."

It is a decision that will please the Stoke midfielder, who says that there was no malice in the challenge and has warned that players will become afraid to tackle if they are constantly scrutinised.

"I don't think I caught him as much as he was rolling about," Whelan told the Daily Mail. "I've gone in for the challenge and I don't think I tried to be dirty, but it if it looks that way then I'll have to hold my hands up.

"People have talked about tackling going out of the game but that's only because we're not allowing it. It's not as if we don't want to tackle.

"If you're getting pulled up on little things every week then people will stop. It's the English game, the old-fashioned game, and that's what the Premier League is so good for."

However, Garcia's City team-mate Gareth Barry believed that the challenge was worthy of a red card, but stated that he was sure the Stoke midfielder went for the ball.

"I spoke to the referee at the time and he said he didn't have the right angle on it but Javi, in the dressing room, said the player went in with both feet and caught him on the ankle. I think they also showed that on TV," Barry told the Manchester Evening News.

"I think there is a case [for the FA to look at the challenge]. I think it’s the rule now that if the referee doesn't see it but reports it, then they can have another look afterwards.

"But I don’t want to speak badly against Glenn Whelan – he’s a great pro and I'm sure he went for the ball."

PFA Chairman Clarke Carlisle, who was working as a television pundit after the game, stated that it was a challenge worthy of a red card, and called into question Webb's refereeing of the incident.

"The criteria for a red card is that you jump in for a tackle two-footed and endanger an opponent, and he’s ticked all three boxes with that one," Carlisle said on ITV. "I don't know how Howard Webb's not seen that."