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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 3, 2006

Arsenal considering legal action over Diaby tackle

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed the club are considering legal action against Sunderland defender Dan Smith after his foul on Abou Diaby on Monday.

Diaby, 19, is out of the Champions League final after Smith's dangerous lunge left him with a fractured and dislocated ankle.

Wenger and several of Diaby's team-mates were fuming after the incident in Arsenal's 3-0 victory at the Stadium of Light, with Kolo Toure claiming 19-year-old Smith deliberately tried to hurt the French midfielder.

Both Toure and Cesc Fabregas slammed Smith for the challenge, though Sunderland caretaker boss Kevin Ball insisted the inexperienced defender 'wasn't being malicious'.

Wenger delivered a withering verdict despite Smith making only his fourth appearance.

'In my opinion that is a shame because it was a bad kick and an unnecessary one,' the French manager said after the match.

'It is one thing to lose a player but the spirit of the way he has been kicked, and Fabregas a few times, is just not acceptable.

'That is the most difficult thing to take. I feel sorry for him (Diaby) because he worked very hard to come back.

'An accident can happen, we all accept that. The way that this happened was not acceptable. It is part of the respect of the game.

'If two players go for the ball with the right spirit [then okay]. What happened there was just not acceptable. The referee and the press cannot accept that,' Wenger said.

Wenger also suggested Smith should be banned for the same length of time Diaby is on the sidelines injured.

'I felt, having watched the game, that there were bad intentions there and I will take legal advice to take this game further,' Wenger said on Sky Sports News.

'The player should be banned as long as Abou Diaby does not play. When you see that he gets a yellow card it is just horrendous.'

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