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By ESPN Staff
Sep 30, 2006

Police not to charge Thatcher over Mendes challenge

Ben Thatcher will not face criminal charges for the forearm challenge which hospitalised Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes.

The Manchester City full-back was suspended for eight games by the Football Association a fortnight ago, with a further 15-match ban suspended, following the August 23 incident which left Mendes unconscious and needing hospital treatment.

City had already banned the 30-year-old for six matches and fined him six weeks' wages for the challenge during the goalless draw at Eastlands.

Greater Manchester Police investigated complaints about the incident but have decided against charging Thatcher.

Mendes' wish for the matter to be handled solely by the FA appears to have played a part in the local force reaching their decision.

A GMP statement read: 'Officers from GMP have spoken to the relevant parties involved in an incident during the Manchester City versus Portsmouth match on August 23.

'In consultation with the injured player, the clubs and the Football Association, GMP have been informed Pedro Mendes would not like to pursue a complaint and have asked for it to be dealt with by the FA, not the police.

'In light of this, GMP will not be investigating the incident further and consider the matter to be closed.'

Thatcher is still being investigated by Lancashire Police over a clash with former Blackburn player Ralph Welch during a reserve game at Ewood Park in February.