Huddlestone escapes Uefa punishment
Wednesday 06 October 2010
Tom Huddlestone today avoided punishment for his apparent elbow on an opponent in Tottenham's Champions League thrashing of FC Twente.
Twente forward Marc Janko claimed Spurs midfielder Huddlestone deliberately "smashed his arm into my face" and left him with a nosebleed during last Wednesday's Group A clash at White Hart Lane.
But, after viewing video footage of the incident, UEFA confirmed this morning that Huddlestone had no case to answer.
A spokesperson told Press Association Sport: "UEFA's disciplinary department looked into the matter and decided not to open a case."
Today's news will come as a huge relief to Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who was praying he would not lose Huddlestone for the upcoming double header against Inter Milan.
Had UEFA decided to charge the 23-year-old with violent conduct, he could have been hit with a minimum two-match ban, ruling him out of the October 20 trip to Inter and the return fixture at White Hart Lane two weeks later.
Spurs are already without key midfielder Rafael van der Vaart for the crunch game at the San Siro after he was sent off against Twente, and the loss of Huddlestone would further damage their hopes of building on an impressive start to life in football's elite club competition.
Huddlestone was not punished on the night over the incident with Janko - indeed, he was being fouled by the forward at the time and the free-kick went the other way.
Redknapp last week revealed he had watched footage of the clash and acknowledged Huddlestone had made contact with his elbow but cast doubt on whether there was any intent.
He said: "It's not like Tom - he's not at all an aggressive player, he's a fantastic footballer and a great guy.
"It looked like he caught him with an elbow. Whether he meant to do it, I'm not so sure."
Janko had said: "If you look at the TV pictures, you will see he clearly hit me on purpose.
"He smashed his arm into my face. Then when I showed the ref my bleeding nose, he smiled at me."
Meanwhile, Niko Kranjcar has insisted he is waiting for his chance to break back into the Spurs side.
Croatia midfielder Kranjcar has found himself frozen out this season and he is being linked with a move away from White Hart Lane.
The 26-year-old, who has not started a Barclays Premier League game this term and has not featured at all in the Champions League group stages, told the Independent: "I am waiting for my chance.
"The squad is probably one of the best in the Premier League. I have to work hard."
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