Manchester City considering way forward on Adebayor charges

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The Independent Football

Manchester City must decide in the next 24 hours whether to contest either of the charges facing their striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who is facing the possibility of an extended ban after being at the centre of two controversial incidents during Saturday's 4-2 win over Arsenal at Eastlands.

Adebayor has until 6pm tomorrow to respond to a Football Association charge of violent conduct that has been brought against him for his challenge on Robin van Persie but the forward, and his manager Mark Hughes, must realise there is little chance of success.

Television replays clearly show Adebayor's boot making a second movement towards Van Persie's face. City also now know that referee Mark Clattenburg would have sent Adebayor off if he had seen the severity of the challenge at the time.

In such circumstances, it seems a waste of time for City to contest the charge and Hughes will now be preparing for Saturday's Manchester derby at Old Trafford without his £25million striker.

In addition to this weekend's eagerly-awaited encounter, Adebayor would also miss next Wednesday's Carling Cup tie with Fulham, plus a Premier League game with West Ham on September 28 if a three-match ban was handed down.

Where City may have more success is in challenging the charge of improper conduct, which followed Adebayor's decision to race the full length of the field and celebrate his goal in Saturday's match in front of the Gunners supporters who used to adore him.

Experienced football figures, including Gareth Southgate and Roy Keane, have come out in support of Adebayor, who was abused by the Arsenal fans every time he touched the ball.

The frostiness of that relationship dates back 14 months, when Adebayor claimed he wanted to leave the Emirates Stadium to play for "a big club", which, that summer at least, did not happen.

If City can use the reception Adebayor received as a mitigating factor, the Togo forward may escape with a fine.

However, there is also a possibility that an independent disciplinary panel that will be set up once a hearing date has been confirmed may deem Adebayor to have acted irresponsibly and add more matches, as many as three, to any initial suspension.

Certainly, the FA will be speaking with both the Professional Footballers Association and League Managers Association to emphasise the responsibility of officials and players to maintain public order.

Greater Manchester Police were distinctly unimpressed by Adebayor's conduct and one steward was injured in the disturbances that followed, which the FA will also act upon.

"We have asked the GMP and the clubs to identify those supporters involved in any violent and aggravating behaviour. The FA would like to see anyone found guilty of such behaviour face action through the legal system and banning orders from football," continued the statement.

"The FA would like to thank the Manchester City FC stewards for the way they managed a very difficult situation and to pass on sincere best wishes to the steward who was injured during the game.

"We will continue to work with the LMA and PFA in particular to help remind players of their responsibilities, especially in highly charged situations."