London: There was no malice in Emmanuel Adebayor’s contact with former Arsenal team mate Robin van Persie in Saturday’s Premier League match at Eastlands, Manchester City manager Mark Hughes said on Monday.
The FA have said they will be looking at video footage of the incident when Van Persie clattered into City striker Adebayor, whose foot caught the Arsenal player in the face as he landed.
“Emmanuel Adebayor sustained a tremendous amount of personal abuse from the kick-off but strongly maintains that there was no malice intended in the challenge on Robin Van Persie and apologised to him when he hugged him on leaving the field of play at the end of the game,” Hughes told the club’s website.
“The referee had a great view of the challenge from Ade and the one that preceded it by Van Persie and deemed at the time that neither were worthy of either a yellow or red card.”
After the match Van Persie took the unusual step of issuing a statement condemning the actions of the Togo striker.
“I am sad and disappointed by my former team mate Emmanuel Adebayor’s mindless and malicious stamp on me during today’s match,” he said.
“We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today...he had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It’s bad for the game we all love.”
Adebayor, who joined City for 25 million pounds from Arsenal in the close season, also upset the Arsenal fans when he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of them after scoring in City’s 4-2 win. He was booked for doing it and later apologised and said he had also apologised to Van Persie.