Adebayor let off match ban after 'extreme provocation'

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The Independent Football

Emmanuel Adebayor was the subject of "extreme provocation" from Arsenal supporters before his controversial goal celebration at Eastlands last month the Football Association ruled yesterday and as such the Manchester City striker escaped a suspension. Instead he was handed a £25,000 fine and a suspended two-match ban.

The Manchester City striker has already served a three-match suspension for violent conduct in a separate incident during the victory over his former club last month, although there was the possibility of further action after he sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of visiting fans following his headed goal.

The striker was at Wembley yesterday to admit a charge of improper conduct to a FA hearing. His admission was taken into account as was, crucially, the conduct of Arsenal fans. Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers' Association gave expert evidence.

"In reaching its decision the FA took into account his admission of the charge, public apology and the extremely provocative nature of the abuse he received," read an FA statement. "However, the commission also stated that players have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a proper manner and that such celebrations are unacceptable and have the potential to cause a serious public order incident."

Adebayor is available for Monday's match at Aston Villa as his ban will only be activated if there is a similar breach of rules before December 2010.