Rafael escapes further ban
Rafael has escaped with an £8,000 fine and a warning about his future conduct following an FA disciplinary hearing into his reaction following the red card he received during Manchester United's goalless draw at Tottenham last week.
Referee Mike Dean gave Rafael his second caution for a foul on Benoit Assou-Ekotto 18 minutes from the end of the White Hart Lane encounter, forcing United to play out the game with only 10 men. Rafael was fuming and remonstrated with the official before finally being ushered to the dressing rooms.
The 20-year-old subsequently apologised for his actions and pleased guilty to a misconduct charge, which could have brought a further suspension, in addition to the one-match ban he will serve by missing Saturday's encounter with Birmingham.
However, a specially convened panel, which heard evidence from both Rafael and Sir Alex Ferguson by video link, opted against lengthening the ban, leaving the player free to face Blackpool on Tuesday.
The verdict will be welcomed by Ferguson, who before the hearing outlined why he thought Dean was wrong to apply the second booking.
"Dermot Gallagher said it was the worst decision of the week," said Ferguson.
"Everyone knows it was a bad decision. It happens.
"Unfortunately, in a game of that magnitude it could have had a big impact."
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