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Thatcher to Face Music for Horror Challenge

Manchester City midfielder Ben Thatcher is now facing possible assault charges after slamming his elbow into the head of Portsmouth's Pedro Mendes during a 0-0 draw in Manchester on Wednesday. Immediately following the incident, Mendes was rushed to Manchester's Royal Infirmary; he will continue to undergo medical and neurological supervision for the next seven days. The Manchester City player was merely yellow carded for the incident, but after replays revealed the severity of the challenge, everyone from the local authorities, to Manchester City officials, the Professional Footballers' Association and FIFA have all gotten involved. Thatcher's club has now fined him two weeks wages for the incident and suspended him from the team's next game against Arsenal this weekend. Greater Manchester Police said they feel "duty-bound to investigate" and will soon speak to both the clubs and the players. The English Football Association is now discussing the matter with FIFA in an effort to gain permission to overrule the referee's on-field decision so they can slap the player with a greater punishment. Meanwhile, Dermot Gallagher, the referee who showed Thatcher a yellow card for the horrific incident, has been dropped from his next Premiership match between Liverpool and West Ham. The Professional Footballers' Association has also alerted Thatcher that it would not be unreasonable for Mendes to take legal action against him. Thatcher has already issued an official apology both to Portsmouth and the player.

Read the whole story at The Daily Telegraph »

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