The FA have today confirmed that Mario Balotelli will not be punished for celebrating in front of Manchester United fans at the end of the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.
Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of examples of players winding up the opposition. Rio Ferdinand was particularly annoyed with Balotelli, given the inciting celebration came at the final whistle rather than amidst the rush of emotion after goal, which makes it slightly different from the examples below.
However, it’s interesting to see how the FA usually deal with situations like this:
January 14th 2006: Robbie Fowler scores against United for City. He runs to the United fans and gives them the five finger salute, rubbing in the success of his former club and United’s main rivals, Liverpool, in Europe.
Punishment? £5k fine
September 12th 2009: Emmanuel Adebayor scored against Arsenal and ran the length of the pitch to slide on his knees in front of the Arsenal fans.
Punishment? £25k fine
Punishment? Warned about future conduct.
Is there a general pattern? No, it appears as though the FA pick out their punishments from a hat.