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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Whiff of hypocrisy as Balotelli condemned, but Crouch left in peace

I have to confess to being surprised, firstly that Howard Webb appears to have indicated he would have sent Mario Balotelli off if he had seen Sunday's clash with Scott Parker, secondly that the FA has charged the Italian youngster with Violent Conduct and thirdly that whispers appear to be emerging from Manchester that City may not dispute the charge.

But my biggest surprise has to be the media's apparent lack of interest and outrage at the behaviour of Peter Crouch in Saturday's game against West Bromwich Albion, where video shows the England striker running his fingers across the eye of West Brom captain Jonas Olsson. The act looks very similar to those of rugby players when they are accused of eye gouging.
Fortunately for the Swede, Crouch clearly did not succeed in scratching his eye, which could have put him out of the match and in a worst case, even blinded him. I joke not. This happened a couple of years ago to a Gravesend rugby player during a game against Maidstone, in Kent.
What's perhaps the most shocking is that the Balotelli incident has been run and re-run ad nauseam on Sky Sports News, while I have yet to see the Crouch incident anywhere but on the Internet. Why is this? Far be it from me to second guess the editorial priorities of the broadcaster, but I would have thought the video has enough shock value to bear coverage.
I still stand by my view that it cannot be proved that Balotelli deliberately stamped on Parker and that it's equally possible the high speed clash was accidental. But it strikes me as impossible for Crouch to argue that he reached out from behind Olssson and accidentally ran his fingers over his eye.
I look forward to the FA's comment on this matter.

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