Callum McManaman Gets off Scot-Free as FA will take no Action

Stu Forster

A look and a wrap up of just what happened with Callum McManaman and the FA's bizarre decision to not suspend the player, following his 'horror' tackle on Massadio Haidara.

I was planning to do a two piece break down of the events on Sunday. First an article looking at the view of us Wigan fans and why we sang Callum's name and got behind our player. The second would then follow looking at why Newcastle were right (in some ways) to feel how they did, and why John Caver reacted how he did. That would then be concluded with an assessment of the FA's ban on Callum on Wednesday.

But with the FA's decision coming so quickly, and completely unexpected, has changed that.

My first view of the tackle was from behind. In the stands I saw the back of Callum McManaman's shirt and the tackle looked fair. To me and most of we Wigan fans around us, the tackle looked like Callum had nicked the ball away before clashing bodies with Massadio Haidara. The reaction from Haidara to hit the ground we felt was unjustified.

Of course since seeing the replay I know I am mistaken, and that is the first thing that this situation should show people. Every incident on the football pitch is open to interpretation, and I mean everything.

The way a player holds themselves, the way a tackle is made, and the way that the supports now act; is all closed under a micro-scope and can be interrupted differently by different people. At the time Mike Halsey may not have seen the challenge, nor may he has seen it to be as bad as it was. That happens he is only human after all.

So retrospectively the FA have every right to now punish Callum. It was a bad challenge no two ways about it. The player lunged in needless and recklessly and it should be a ban, I would never argue with one. I would however say that the slander Callum has got, is unjustified.

The young lad was making his first senior league performance and was trying to impress. Nerves and over enthusiasm are what lead to the tackle, and I hope that fans will understand that. Any that have ever play football surely will.

So now to the decision itself. The FA tend to be slow at dealing out this sort of punishment when it comes to Wigan, so I wasn't expecting anything till tomorrow, especially in light of how confusing the actual logistics of the decision could be.

Since the introduction of cameras at football games, the FA, UEFA, Fifa and all other major governing bodies have more or less the same ruling. If one of the officials writes in their post match report that they saw the incident, then no action can be taken.

Now I think most of us assumed that this didn't happen as no action was taken by the officials during the game. However, somehow, Callum McManaman could get off from a ban on a technicality. According to the FA's official statement on the matter one of the officials disclosed seeing the tackle and therefore no action can be taken.

Where one of the officials has seen a coming together of players, no retrospective action should be taken, regardless of whether he or she witnessed the full or particular nature of the challenge. This is to avoid the re-refereeing of incidents.


In the case of McManaman, it has been confirmed that at least one of the match officials saw the coming together, though not the full extent of the challenge. In these circumstances retrospective action cannot be taken.

To see full report click here

Silly? Well yes it is but that is Football.

Wigan fans will no be looking up to the heavens and counting their lucky stars, hopefully we haven't lost them all from one game now. While Newcastle will be out now to try and get some justice, reportedly they could be out to sue Wigan Athletic, depending on the result from a legal consultation.

Either way this now hopefully will put the issue to bed. I wish Massadio Haidara the speediest of recoveries and to hopefully see him running around on a football pitch yet again, and hope that it is not as bad as first though for the player.

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