The fall-out from Ports-mouth's match with Manchester City at Fratton Park last Saturday continued last night when the Football Association charged the Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp with using abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official.
The FA has also received a complaint that the Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton had made obscene gestures towards home supporters.
Redknapp was charged for his furious reaction to a challenge from Barton that left Pedro Mendes writhing in agony and prompted Redknapp's half-time dismissal to the stands by the referee Mike Dean, the alleged target of the manager's comments. The Portsmouth manager, who admitted swearing but insisted the words were not aimed at Dean, has until 27 February to respond.
Barton, according to a complaint made to police by a senior Portsmouth steward, responded to the barracking that followed his tackle by gesturing at home fans after the final whistle. It is understood the 24-year-old has since told City colleagues that the foul on Mendes was accidental. The new England international will mount a robust defence if charged once the FA has studied video footage of the alleged gesturing.
"It is disappointing that an official from another club should make such ill-informed public comments," City's head of communications, Paul Tyrrell, said. "Caution should be exercised before jumping on any bandwagons. City have not received any complaint regarding Joey Barton's behaviour and if we get one it will be robustly defended by the club as our own officials were close to the player as he went to thank our fans for their support. He made no offensive gestures."
Hampshire police have confirmed that they will not launch their own investigation but they have forwarded the steward's complaint to the FA, an action that could prompt a fine or further punishment.
Barton was fined and warned as to his future conduct by the FA in September, when he responded to taunts from Everton supporters by bearing his backside at Goodison Park. That was a rare - and many would argue humorous - indiscretion in a season in which the midfielder has impressed with and without the ball at his feet.
Mendes could be fit to face Blackburn in Portsmouth's next game, despite leaving Fratton Park on crutches on Saturday amid fears that he had sustained a serious Achilles injury.
The midfielder is awaiting the results from a scan on his damaged heel but he was able to walk freely around the club's training ground yesterday and, with no FA Cup commitments this weekend, could be available for the trip to Ewood Park on 25 February.Reuse content