Cristiano Ronaldo was strangled in the box by Emanuel Pogatetz on Monday night during our 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. This goes without saying that a penalty and red card should have been awarded. However, I understand the referee isn’t always going to get it right and can’t be watching everything that is going on.
I taped the game on Setanta and listened to their rather disparaging coverage of the incident when I got in from the match. They talked of how he went down too easily, laughing at it even. Incredibly, it was Steve YSB McManamam who was fighting Ronaldo’s corner, whilst Gary Pallister, Les Ferdinand and the Setanta presenter all chuckled.
Pogatetz had both hands around Ronaldo’s neck. I couldn’t give a shit less how ‘easily’ he went to ground after that, he had just been choked for the love of God! Would it have been such a laughable had it been Ronaldo ringing someone else’s neck? Wayne Rooney? “Oh ho ho, look at Rooney strangling someone, that loveable rogue!” He would be petulant. He would be a thug. He would be up to his old tricks. He would be bringing shame to the game. We all know the fuss that was made when he irritably threw an elbow in Amdy Faye’s direction the other day, all hell would have let loose if he’d actually strangled someone!
The media’s response to Pogatetz strangling Ronaldo was laughable, with them all looking for ways to criticise our winger. They focussed on Ronaldo’s reaction, which was to push Pogatetz in the arm. That’s how desperate they’ve got. They will make more fuss over Ronaldo pushing someone in the arm than they will about Ronaldo being choked.
Now, I can’t see how this incident will have escaped the FA’s attention. When Rooney kissed his badge at Goodison Park, the FA felt the need to release a statement confirming that Rooney wouldn’t be charged. What the fuck is that about? Rooney kisses his club badge on the pitch, like a whole host of players do on a weekly basis, yet the FA make a statement to confirm they won’t do anything about it. Why? Because the press had whipped everyone up in to the frenzy, with pundits talking of how Rooney should have been sent off!
Obviously the press haven’t made a big enough fuss about Pogatetz’s strangulation because the FA have not responded. They have not confirmed he won’t be charged and they have not confirmed they will be looking in to it.
You do have to worry about the downwards spiral of football when rugby tackles and throttling opponents go unpunished by the footballing body, the FA.
Call the FA and leave a recording to make them aware of what Pogatetz did on the number they have provided on their website: 020 7745 4999