Hull City's FA Cup hopes have been handed a significant boost after the Football Association announced that David Meyler will receive no punishment for his stamp on Adnan Januzaj during Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to Manchester United.
Eurosport confirm the FA's decision, which leaves the Republic of Ireland international free to face Arsenal in the tournament's final. Simon Stone of BBC Sport explains why no further action has been taken:
BREAKING: Hull's David Meyler escapes FA action for stamp on Adnan Januzaj – meaning he is free to play in the FA Cup final.— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) May 7, 2014
No ban for David Meyler over Januzaj incident. Ref had clear view so FA can't charge.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) May 7, 2014
As the Mail Online illustrates, Meyler's offence seemed rather blatant in nature, with Januzaj left writhing in some distress after receiving the blow to his shin:
Since emerging as one of United's most promising up-and-comers at the start of this season, the Belgian youngster has developed something of a reputation for exaggerating certain challenges, but there was no reason to believe Januzaj was guilty of simulation on this occasion.
Should Meyler have faced retroactive punishment?
Meyler was previously exiled at Sunderland, but a 2013 move to the KC Stadium has given the midfielder new life, evidenced by his 27 starts in 30 Premier League appearances under Steve Bruce this season.
Both Bruce and interim United manager Ryan Giggs fielded weakened teams on Tuesday with other priorities in mind, meaning Hull will be glad to have avoided an absence that was very much avoidable.
And therein lies the problem. Meyler's action appeared reckless and the fact that Craig Pawson, as Stone states, "had clear view" of the incident and yet failed to raise any alarms may incite some doubt in the system.
The FA are prevented from taking action due to the fact that the official with the power to do so at the time failed in that duty. But, in the current layout, it seems Januzaj and United (and Arsenal) will merely have to accept this as law.
Hull City face Everton in their last fixture of the league campaign before travelling to Wembley on May 17 for the showdown against the Gunners.
Until then, Meyler may be wise to ensure he's on his best behaviour.