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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FA blasted over Fernando Torres ban

Mark Halsey has claimed the Football Association are a “laughing stock” for failing to punish Fernando Torres for his clash with Jan Vertonghen.

• Chelsea sweat on Torres injury

The Chelsea striker appeared to scratch the Tottenham defender during the 50th minute of the sides’ 1-1 Premier League draw on Saturday.

Torres was later sent off after receiving a second yellow card and a four-match ban was expected, but the FA announced on Tuesday that no further action will be taken against the Spain striker, something the former Premier League referee Halsey believes is an injustice.

“There is simply no consistency in all this and failing to act in this instance has reduced the FA to a laughing stock,” he is quoted as saying in the Sun.

“If that incident had happened in any other league in Europe, there is no way Torres would have escaped a violent conduct charge.

“And if it happened in any of this week’s Champions League matches, UEFA would have come down on it like a ton of bricks.

 “Jose Mourinho must be laughing his head off on the quiet. He must have expected to be without Torres for four matches. He won’t believe his luck.

“Our top professional players are role models for youngsters but if the kids see Torres get away with something like this, it sends out a terrible message.”

Halsey also insisted the FA’s claim that they could not punish Torres retrospectively because the incident had already been seen by a match official and gone unpunished.

“Can anyone tell me how the FA can say that, given what they did with Mario Balotelli and Luis Suarez,” he added.

“They rightly took action against Balotelli for stamping on Scott Parker’s head, even though a free-kick was given against him at the time. And if you look at the footage of Suraez on Branislav Ivanovic, it’s clear Kevin Friend saw them come together, without seeing the bite.

“So if you can charge players in those instances, how on earth can you let Torres off?

“I was in charge when Wigan’s Callum McManaman made that awful tackle on Massadio Haidara of Newcastle.

“I told the FA if I’d seen that incident it would have been a straight red. But instead of making sure miscarriages of justice don’t occur again, they hide behind rules that make no sense.”

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