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Treble trouble after Manchester derby

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22 Sep 2009 09:11:47

Treble trouble after Manchester derby

THE Football Association are taking a long, hard look at Sunday's explosive derby, with Craig Bellamy and Gary Neville coming under closest scrutiny as the fallout from Old Trafford continues. Bellamy is in the clear over a police investigation of his altercation with a pitch-invading fan, as no complaint was made about the incident. But he could still face a three-match ban for violent conduct, if referee Martin Atkinson, having viewed the video, decides it would have warranted a red card had he seen it. Under the FA's fast-track procedure, he should learn his fate by 6pm today and, if found guilty, can expect a three-match ban beginning with Monday's home clash with West Ham. Neville could be hit with a charge of improper conduct for running towards the City fans in celebration of Michael Owen's late winner, but he would have two weeks to respond. United could also be in hot water after City's Javier Garrido was struck by a coin thrown from the crowd, although they have vowed to try to track down the culprit and also take action against the pitch invader. A United spokesman said: "We will be looking at CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the person who threw the coin and will take the relevant steps. "The fan who ran on the pitch will get a life ban if he is a season ticket holder and will have his membership revoked. "We will take all steps to ensure he does not enter the ground again." Police confirmation City want no fuss over the coin-throwing incident, with manager Mark Hughes saying: "I don't want to dwell on it." Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they have received no complaints over Bellamy, but said that a man has been arrested in connection with the incident. Jake Joseph Clarke, aged 21, is charged with going onto a playing area without lawful authority or excuse and will appear before Trafford Magistrates' Court on September 30. City assistant Mark Bowen has defended Bellamy following his clash with the fan, saying his move was potentially a defensive reflex. "Craig had been our talisman on the day and brought us back into the game twice," he said. "A goal had just gone in and Craig was going to the fella to say in no uncertain terms to get off the pitch. "Obviously, I can't quote exactly what he said but it was like 'Get off the pitch'. We were still in the game and it only takes a second to score a goal. "My take is that he thought the fella might spit in his face or something. "He came very close and moved towards him. Craig, with an open hand, just pushed the fella away." Asked if there would be any action taken by City against the striker, Bowen said: "No. I don't think there is any need to."


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