Patrick Vieira was handed a straight red card by the referee in Manchester City’s 3-0 defeat to Inter Milan in a friendly.

There were concerns that the has-been was going to be given a ban for the Premiership, which starts in two weeks.

However, the FA have moved to dismiss these concerns.

“If a player gets a red card in a friendly he gets a ban for his next friendly, not for competitive matches,” said a spokesperson for the FA.

Of course, just like when Neil Mellor and Steven Gerrard were sent off in the pre-season Amsterdam Tournament in 2003, the FA have used common sense. It would be ridiculous to give a three match ban to a player sent off in a pre-season game, wouldn’t it?

Sadly for United, the FA didn’t use this same common sense back in 2006, when Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes were handed three match bans for being sent off in the pre-season, also in the Amsterdam Tournament.

What excuse did the FA use? The referee from our friendly against Porto reported the incident. Rather than dismiss it out of hand, the FA chose to hand out a ban regardless. They are the authority for football in this country and it is entirely up to them who does and doesn’t serve bans.

Any excuse eh?

VIDEO: Pre-season red cards