Callum McManaman escapes FA action over Haidara challenge

Callum McManaman's tackle on Massadio Haidara

Wigan's Callum McManaman has escaped a Football Association charge for his tackle on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara.

Haidara was taken off on a stretcher in the Latics' win but the FA cannot take action as an official saw the incident.

Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias claims the FA's disciplinary process is "not fit for purpose".

However, Magpies assistant boss John Carver and Wigan coach Graham Barrow have both been charged after a half-time fracas related to the incident.

Both men have until 16:00 GMT on Friday 22 March to respond to the charge.

Left-back Haidara, 20, had a scan on Monday, although the swelling around his knee meant no firm diagnosis could be made.

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Medical staff are quietly optimistic the Newcastle defender may not be as seriously hurt as first feared, and the extent of the Frenchman's injury will determine whether legal action will be considered.

An FA statement said: "Where one of the officials has seen a coming together of players, no retrospective action should be taken, regardless of whether he or she witnessed the full or particular nature of the challenge. This is to avoid the re-refereeing of incidents.

"In the case of McManaman, it has been confirmed that at least one of the match officials saw the coming together, though not the full extent of the challenge. In these circumstances retrospective action cannot be taken."

On Monday it had been expected that McManaman, who was defended by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, would face further action from the FA.

Newcastle chief executive Llambias said the decision to take the matter no further showed that the "current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose".

He added: "Newcastle United, along with other clubs, have had players suspended for incidents reviewed after the game.

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"Whilst not trivialising these incidents, they were not, in our opinion, of the seriousness of Callum McManaman's tackle on Haidara.

"Whilst we understand that the current procedures give the FA limited options, it cannot be correct that the most serious offences - those which have the potential to cause another player serious harm - can go unpunished, even if the original incident was seen by match officials.

"We will now be making a strong representation to the FA and the Premier League to see how a more appropriate, fair and even-handed disciplinary process can be introduced at the earliest opportunity to prevent incidents of this nature going unpunished in the future."

Llambias added he was "disappointed and surprised by the comments" made by Whelan, in particular his assertion the tackle "was a fair challenge".

Newcastle are also unhappy that the first news they heard about the decision came from the media and not the FA.

Haidara, who joined from Nancy on a five-and-a-half-year deal in January, had been on the pitch for less than 10 minutes after replacing the injured Mathieu Debuchy.

McManaman, 21, who was making his first start in the Premier League, got a slight touch on the ball before following through and catching the defender on the knee and thigh.

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