Stoke relief as Fuller cleared for semi-final

Stoke have been given a boost ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Bolton at Wembley after they learnt that striker Ricardo Fuller would be available to play.

Fuller, 31, was concerned he could be ruled out of the showpiece match after a confrontation with a supporter on Saturday during the 3-2 defeat by Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

However the Football Association have confirmed there is no case to answer. A spokesman for the governing body said: "We do not tend to react to still images, so we looked at the television footage of the incident. After reviewing the footage, it was decided no further action would be taken."

Fuller has been used mainly as an impact substitute this season, making only nine league starts and scoring four goals.

Former Stoke manager Lou Macari believes Ryan Shawcross deserves his day in the sun at Wembley for the way the defender has responded to hostile criticism.

Shawcross has been one of the pillars of the Stoke side this season. It says much for the 23-year-old's mindset given the outcry following his challenge on Aaron Ramsey 15 months ago that resulted in a badly broken leg for the Arsenal midfielder.

"When Ryan was at Manchester United, and I have spoken to people there, he does not have a bad bone in his body," said Macari, who was promoting EON's Energy Fit Campaign, which helps customers, businesses and clubs save money.

"He has been consistent at Stoke, heading the ball away, tackling like a defender is supposed to do. Unfortunately for him, on one occasion especially he has been tagged as Mr Nasty. He is certainly not. That tackle [on Ramsey] was a misjudged challenge and the lad ended up in a bad way. He is not a nasty player and Stoke do not have nasty players. I have never seen it."

Macari has lauded current boss Tony Pulis and hit out at those supporters who are critical despite Stoke being almost certain to secure their Premier League status for a third successive season.

He said: "They have made fantastic progress. but a lot of supporters have become a bit blasé about being in the Premier League. It is a massive achievement. People overlook it and think they should be competing against Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. That is not going to happen.

"Stoke cannot afford to buy the players to do that. They certainly cannot afford to pay the wages. What they have done is been very careful with their money. They have made the right decisions."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk