Fulham's Sascha Riether has officially been charged with violent conduct by the English Football Association, following a stamp on Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj during the 92nd minute of a match between the two clubs on Saturday.
Per The FA:
Fulham's Sascha Riether has been charged by The FA for violent conduct following an incident which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video during his side's game against Manchester United on 2 November 2013.
The charge is in relation to an incident involving Riether and United's Adnan Januzaj which occurred in added time of Saturday's match at Craven Cottage.
The defender has until 6pm on Tuesday 5 November 2013 to respond to the charge.
You can see the incident below.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 11:15 a.m. ET
From Sascha Riether:
I want to say I am sorry to Adnan Januzai.It was very unlike me and I can only say that frustration got the better of me.— Sascha Riether (@saschariether) November 5, 2013
I also want to apologise to my teammates, fans and everyone at the Club, for the ban incurred following Saturday's match— Sascha Riether (@saschariether) November 5, 2013
I will accept the consequences of my actions, and hope to put it behind me when I return.— Sascha Riether (@saschariether) November 5, 2013
I want the fans to know that I will be working hard to stay fit and will be ready to continue fighting for the Club as soon as I am able.SR— Sascha Riether (@saschariether) November 5, 2013
---End of update---
It looks as though the punishment is warranted. Riether wasn't making a play on the ball and appeared to be looking down at Januzaj, or at least where the player was, before stamping down with his right foot.
This is the first time a player has been retroactively punished by a new three-man panel put in place by The FA:
Previously, where the match officials had confirmed to The FA that none of them had seen an incident the match referee was then asked to review all available video evidence before being asked what action, if any, he would have taken had it been seen.
Under the new process, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees Steve Dunn, Eddie Wolstenholme and Alan Wiley will be asked by The FA to review it and advise what, if any action, they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time.
Should he miss the next three games, Riether would be a big loss for Fulham. The Cottagers' defense is bad enough as is, and now they'd be losing somebody who has appeared in each of the club's 10 Premier League matches.
Would you like to see retroactive punishments used more often by the Premier League?
Dropping points now could be critical as Fulham look to avoid relegation. They're two points above Norwich in 18th, but that could change after road fixtures with Liverpool and West Ham and a home match against Swansea.
In the greater scheme of things, this decision is a step in the right direction for the Premier League. By leaving the retroactive decision in the hands of the match official, you're opening the door for him to stick to his guns and say he made the right call, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
Now the league has in place an unbiased third party to thoroughly look at the video and make a reasoned determination. What's more is that FA Chairman Greg Dyke has admitted that even more changes could be made to increase the use of retroactive punishment.
As evidenced by The FA's decision on Riether, it doesn't matter how you get there as long as you make the right decision.