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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Ref Halsey gets Angel off Morgan 'elbow' charge

Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel has escaped disciplinary action over his alleged elbowing of Sheffield United captain Chris Morgan during last night's Premiership match at Bramall Lane.

Referee Mark Halsey has confirmed to the Football Association that he did witness the incident which happened during the closing stages of the 2-2 draw.

As a result, under FIFA regulations, the FA are powerless to pursue the matter further and Angel has avoided the possibility of having to serve a three-game ban for violent conduct.

The FA had already planned to study 'any relevant video footage' of the incident.

But an FA spokesman said: 'Mark Halsey has confirmed to us that he did see the incident at the time and, under FIFA regulations, we are unable to take any retrospective disciplinary action.'

Halsey dealt with the matter at the time by awarding a free-kick to the Blades.

Television replays suggested Angel did make some contact with Morgan with his elbow, although only the Colombian international will know whether there was any intent.

Morgan appeared incensed and, at the final whistle, raced down the players' tunnel where what Villa manager Martin O'Neill described as a 'kerfuffle' took place.

O'Neill will be relieved at today's announcement by the FA as he can ill afford to be without the club's record signing for the hectic festive period given the lack of depth to his squad.