Man City's Mario Balotelli avoids ban for Alex Song tackle

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli has escaped the prospect of an additional six-game ban for his tackle on Alex Song in the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Referee Martin Atkinson took no action in the match, but reported the incident had been seen, ruling out retrospective Football Association action.

Balotelli was sent off after picking up yellow cards for two unrelated fouls.

He could have faced extra three-game bans for violent conduct and what would have been a fourth dismissal of season.

Balotelli's Manchester City reds

  • 7 November 2010: Sent off in his fourth game for the club, after scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over West Brom
  • 17 March 2011: Sent off after 36 minutes of the 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev
  • 27 November 2011: Sent off in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool after picking up two yellow cards in 18 minutes
  • 25 January 2012: Banned for four games after being charged with violent conduct for a stamp on Spurs midfielder Scott Parker
  • 8 April: Receives the fourth red card of his City career against Arsenal

In addition to his dismissal at Emirates Stadium, Balotelli has previously been sent off in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool in November and was retrospectively charged with violent conduct after he appeared to stamp on Scott Parker in the win over Tottenham in January.

The FA insists that, while it could reevaluate the incident involving Parker, it would not take a second look at Balotelli's challenge on Saturday.

"Retrospective action was introduced for off-the-ball incidents where there was no contest for possession and could not be deemed to be re-refereeing an incident," it said.

"In agreement with Fifa, this is how 'not seen' incidents are dealt with retrospectively in England. It is a policy that is agreed with all football stakeholders."

The striker's existing three-game ban begins against West Brom on Wednesday.