Sascha Riether Banned for 3 Matches After Stomping on Adnan Januzaj

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Sascha Riether of Fulham in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Norwich City at Craven Cottage on August 18, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Manchester United's 3-1 win over Fulham on Saturday was marred by an incident that saw Fulham right-back Sascha Riether stomp United midfielder Adnan Januzaj. Now Riether has had to face the music.

The Football Association have issued Riether with a three-match ban, according to Rob Harris of the Associated Press.

There were plenty of question marks regarding whether or not Riether would be suspended at all after Fulham disputed the FA's decision, according to Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph.

While Fulham admitted that match officials should have issued Riether with a red card (which they didn't since they presumably didn't see the incident late in Fulham's loss), Fulham challenged the process used by the FA to determine the suspension.

According to Rumsby, Riether's case was the first determined by the FA's new video panel and Fulham believed that rules may have been broken in doing so. With that said, the FA moved forward with the suspension and Riether himself accepted it on Twitter.

In addition to accepting responsibility for his actions, Riether apologized to Januzaj, as well as to his Fulham teammates and fans.

While Riether deserves credit for accepting the ban, the manner in which it came down certainly lends itself to criticism.

Per Rumsby, Fulham officials were unhappy with the decision due largely to the fact that Chelsea striker Fernando Torres wasn't disciplined for scratching the face of Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen back in September.

The inconsistencies are troubling, but the most important thing from the FA's perspective is to do the right things, regardless of past missteps.

It appears to have done that in this situation, but most observers would probably agree that the FA needs to use the Riether suspension as a precedent rather than an outlier moving forward. 


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