The Football Association considers Roberto Mancini's habit of waving imaginary cards at officials to be unsportsmanlike, though last night it was criticism from his peers that looked most likely to force him to desist from repeating the gesture.
While the domestic game's governing body has no immediate plans to remind Mancini as to his future conduct, hoping the Italian's club will instead point out that the gesture is not welcome in the British game, the conduct runs counter to the FA's Respect campaign and he may be reminded of his responsibilities in the future.
The FA is taking a relaxed position and any future communication with Mancini may come via the League Managers' Association (LMA) rather than directly from Wembley, if required. But the comments yesterday from the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager, Mick McCarthy, may have the biggest impact. "None of us should do it," McCarthy declared. "It is something I don't like. There is a cultural difference. Roberto is in this country now. It is a little blip on a really good career for him at Man City because he handles himself with such good dignity and grace. He has done it. I wouldn't expect him to do it to one of my players or anyone else. It looks bad and I'm sure if it is pointed out, Roberto won't do it again."
Mancini, who has made the gesture after infringements from Liverpool's Martin Skrtel and Wigan Athletic's Maynor Figueroa in the past three weeks and yet attacked Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for similar conduct, was also criticised by Wigan manager Roberto Martinez.
"I've been here long enough to understand that trying to influence the referee is not accepted in the British game," Martinez said. "When a player tries to simulate or buy a decision from the referee that is regarded as cheating. I understand that in Italy, France and Spain it is acceptable to try and get a decision from the referee, but it is different here."
Mancini, whose gesture at Wigan prompted Rooney to tweet, "Was manchini [sic] asking for a red card????", has built up a large store of credit with his conduct over two years in England. But the furore may make referees or fourth officials more aware of his conduct. Mancini said on Monday: "I don't want to talk about the referee and that situation. I used to do this but I don't want to say anything."
The LMA was not available for comment last night.Reuse content