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Jan 3, 2006

Reo-Coker crocks Essien, escapes FA charge

The FA will take no action against West Ham United midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker for his tackle that injured Chelsea's Michael Essien during Monday's clash at Upton Park.

Ghana international Essien was caught on the ankle and had to leave the pitch on a stretcher after only 13 mintues of Chelsea's 3-1 win.

However, referee Howard Webb penalised the foul with a free-kick at the time, choosing not to book Reo-Coker or send him off.

FIFA rules dictate that the FA are not allowed to review decisions using video evidence if the incident has been seen by the match officials.

An FA spokesman confirmed: 'There will not be any disciplinary action because the referee dealt with the matter at the time by awarding a free-kick to Chelsea.'

The news is sure to further anger Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who has already accused the authorities of double standards.

UEFA suspended Essien for both legs of Chelsea's forthcoming Champions League showdown with Barcelona after television footage highlighted his over-the-top tackle on Didi Hamann against Liverpool last month.

That tackle followed on from another over the top challenge by Essien on Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim and consequently received a large amount of media coverage.

But Mourinho deplores the seeming leniency shown to other players, citing Steven Gerrard's shove on Alan Shearer on Boxing Day, and the negative bias he perceives against his own team.

'Essien cannot walk and his foot and ankle are both very swollen,' Mourinho said. 'I'm not complaining about Reo-Coker, but I can imagine if it was the opposite and Essien had made the tackle.

'I can imagine if a Chelsea player did what Steven Gerrard did against Newcastle. Nobody speaks or asks for suspensions when Gerrard does it.

'But Essien was on the TV for 15 days and I only saw Gerrard twice.

'Essien is suspended for the Champions League.

'He can't tackle now or it is a yellow card.

'Today there is a foul on him and he cannot walk to the team coach but tomorrow everybody will treat it as if it is no big deal.

'They want to chase Essien but treat others differently, even though everyone is the same on the football pitch.

'There are no doctors and no engineers out there.

'There are not many places in the world where everybody is the same but this is one and they should treat everyone the same way.'

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