Ibrahimovic, Rojo escape more punishment

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic battling for the ball with Crystal Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye during their Premier League game on Wednesday. In a separate off-the-ball incident between the two, the striker has been spared further punishmen
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic battling for the ball with Crystal Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye during their Premier League game on Wednesday. In a separate off-the-ball incident between the two, the striker has been spared further punishment after allegedly swinging his arm at the Frenchman.PHOTO: REUTERS

MANCHESTER • Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be sanctioned for catching Yohan Cabaye with his arm during Manchester United's 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.

The Swede appeared to swing his left arm at the Palace midfielder in an off-the-ball incident that was not seen by referee Craig Pawson.

Footage was sent by the Football Association (FA) to the three-man panel of former elite referees but as no unanimous verdict was reached by them on the second-half incident, it was confirmed that no further action will be taken.

Marcos Rojo has also escaped retrospective punishment from the FA for his two-footed lunge at Wilfried Zaha because Pawson showed the Argentinian a yellow card.

The FA cannot increase the punishment for offences dealt with by the match officials.

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The FA has meanwhile released details of the reasoning that led to Jose Mourinho receiving a one-game touchline ban after the United manager kicked a water bottle during his team's match against West Ham in November.

The Portuguese "aggressively kicked the bottle in a manner that could have endangered people around him regardless of the motivation to do so", according to an independent panel.

Anthony Taylor, the fourth official, informed the referee that Mourinho had kicked the bottle "with little consideration of the consequences".

At the time of Mourinho's appointment at United, there was disquiet in some quarters at Old Trafford that the 53-year-old was too often caught up in controversy, and John Alexander, the United club secretary, informed the panel that Mourinho was "striving to improve his disciplinary record".

United are also believed to be among those included within an image rights "tax dodging" investigation, a Conservative MP has said.

Charlie Elphicke added that fans should be angry that top football clubs and players including England and United's Wayne Rooney "stand accused of dirtying the beautiful game with a culture of excessive greed and tax dodging".

Jennie Granger, Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs' head of enforcement and compliance, said this month that 43 players and 12 football clubs in British leagues were under investigation.

A United spokesman said on Thursday: "The club operates within the rules set by football's governing bodies and HMRC has full visibility of all agreements and payments."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2016, with the headline 'Ibrahimovic, Rojo escape more punishment'. Print Edition | Subscribe