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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Oct 2, 2013

AVB fumes at FA over Torres let-off

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Andre Villas-Boas has said it is “almost farcical” that Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has not been charged after appearing to scratch Jan Vertonghen.

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During Saturday’s 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, Torres escaped with a yellow card after a tussle with Vertonghen that ended with the Spaniard putting his hand in the Spurs defender’s face.

Torres was later shown a second yellow card following another incident with Vertonghen -- after which Blues coach Jose Mourinho accused the Belgian of playacting -- but the Football Association subsequently announced there would be no extension to the mandatory one-match ban for the earlier incident.

Villas-Boas, speaking ahead of his side’s Europa League clash with Anzhi Makhachkala, has expressed his outrage at the situation.

“It's extremely difficult to know where to start,” Villas-Boas, who coached Torres during his brief stint at Stamford Bridge, said. “Obviously, it is almost a farcical decision. It doesn't matter to me which player or club is involved.

“Neither do I want to with my words put into question Fernando's integrity, neither their manager's, in trying to defend what is our position.

“I think the FA has made a decision almost a joke. It looks incredible. How can you see the images, pretty clear, and come out without punishment, on something (which) overtakes all professional behaviour? I think the decision is a disgrace.

“This is a competition and in the end they came up with what they thought was fair for that. We don't want Fernando suspended because it can make them weaker, because their bench is so strong, but I think the FA has lost all opportunity to put some sense into the images everybody saw.”

Former referee Mark Halsey described the FA as a “laughing stock” following the decision, and Villas-Boas said: “I'm extremely grateful for ex-refs to be able to enlighten people a little bit more, though I think most of you guys saw the incident as something that is not tolerable in football.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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