Villas-Boas calls FA 'joke' over Torres
The Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas will escape censure from the Football Association despite strong criticism of their decision not to charge Chelsea's Fernando Torres for scratching Jan Vertonghen's face at White Hart Lane last Saturday.
A new three-man FA panel of former referees has been introduced this season but they ruled on Tuesday that Torres would not be handed a further suspension after he was sent off in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham because the second-half incident was spotted by assistant referee Jake Collin on the day.
Under the current rules, no further action can be taken in those circumstances but speaking in Russia ahead of tonight's Europa League meeting with Anzhi Makhachkala, Villas-Boas (above) branded the decision "a joke".
"It's extremely difficult to know where to start," the Portuguese said. "Obviously, it is almost a farcical decision. I think the FA has made a decision almost a joke. It looks incredible. How can you see the images, pretty clear, and come out without punishment, on something (which) overtakes all professional behaviour?
"I think the decision is a disgrace," Villas-Boas added. "If the committee can't solve such clear images I don't think it sets out a good first example. The FA has lost all opportunity to put some sense into the images everybody saw. I'm extremely grateful for ex-refs to be able to enlighten people a little bit more, though I think most of you guys saw the incident as something not tolerable in football."
An FA source confirmed last night that Villas-Boas will not be punished for speaking out in spite of his strongly-worded response to their decision. However, chairman Greg Dyke admitted the incident was another example of the governing body's failure to communicate with fans over its management of the English game.
Torres was last night ruled out for three weeks after suffering medial ligament damage in his knee during Tuesday's Champions League victory at Steaua Bucharest.
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