Mascherano 3 Match Ban A Possibility
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano could face an FA charge of violent conduct, after appearing to catch Leeds United’s Jermaine Beckford on the back of the head with his elbow at Elland Road last night.
The Reds made hard work of beating the League One outfit 1-0 in the League Cup third round tie, thanks to a David Ngog strike, but Mascherano could be in trouble after Beckford appeared to pull him back at a throw in. The Argentine swivelled and his arm seemed to strike Beckford’s head.
The striker tumbled to the ground clutching his head, but referee Alan Wiley took no action and the game continued. It was unclear whether Wiley had seen the incident or not.
Should Wiley report to the FA that he saw the incident then no further action can be taken. However, should Wiley’s report state that he didn’t see it, then video evidence can be used to review what happened.
That could leave Mascherano looking at a charge of violent conduct and a likely three-game ban.
His manager, Rafa Benitez, claimed that too much was being made of the incident, saying, according to The Guardian: “I think it is just nothing.”
Leeds boss Simon Grayson saw things a little differently, and felt that the Liverpool midfielder might well be in trouble. He said: “Mascherano’s turned and put his arm up; it went a bit too high. I’ve looked at replays. I’m not saying it’s malicious and I’m not saying it’s not, you can’t really tell. Some players have been sent off for that, some haven’t, sometimes these things go your way, sometimes they don’t.”