Football: Fashanu to be reported to FA by Spurs

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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM have changed their mind and will report John Fashanu, the Wimbledon captain and forward, to the Football Association for the collision which left Spurs' Gary Mabbutt in hospital with a fractured eye socket.

Despite their anger at the damage done by Fashanu's elbow, Tottenham at first bowed to Mabbutt's wishes to drop the case, but have now decided to complain to Lancaster Gate - with Mabbutt's backing.

'We are reporting the incident to the FA saying it was a dangerous challenge. We want them to investigate,' Ossie Ardiles, the Spurs manager, said. 'We've supplied them with video evidence. It's something we feel very strongly about. I have Gary's full agreement. He is very upset about it.'

Last weekend, Spurs talked to 'a lot of people in football' to gauge their reaction to further action. 'They are all behind us in this matter,' Ardiles added. 'We had two courses of action open to us. We could have let it go and waited for the next incident like this to happen. Or we could take action to try to stop it happening again.

'I believe we have to highlight this kind of incident because we never want to see it happen again. The use of elbows in English football must be completely eradicated.'

The same sentiments were echoed on Monday by Gordon Taylor, the Profesional Footballers' Association chief executive, who called for the use of the elbow 'to be condemned and outlawed'. Taylor also advocated heavier punishments.

'I don't want to suggest a punishment, but something has to be done,' Ardiles said. 'There is a danger that this injury could finish Gary's career. Knowing him as I do I believe it won't, because if anyone can come back then it's him. John Uzzell's career was finished by an elbow and this is the worst injury I've ever seen.'

Wimbledon, pointing out that the referee did not take action during or after the game, issued a statement condemning Spurs. 'It's a crude attempt to smear Wimbledon and discredit John. What happened was very distressing but it was an accident. Football is a man's game and men sometimes get hurt. Tottenham should accept this. They were once known as Super Spurs. The way they are behaving, they'll soon be known as Silly Spurs.'