Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini will not be punished for his hair pull on Matteo Guendouzi, according to reports in the English media.
The FA cannot take retrospective action for an incident seen by the officials. Referee Andre Marriner only gave a free kick to the Gunners for the foul rather than red carding Fellaini.
Arsenal supporters are not happy that the Belgian international has gotten away with it:
Absolute joke . Weak @FA . If it was a player from a smaller team he would of got 3 match ban
— starbs (@janoon71) 6 December 2018
The rule is ludicrous. The referee did give a free kick for the coming together but clearly didn’t see the hair pulling incident otherwise he would have brandished a red card for the assault!
— Dave G (@TheGutt) 6 December 2018
That's a shambles. So now if you go round pulling players hair they will only get a freekick..not bad
— Louis King (@Louisking1) 6 December 2018
— Zeus Cannon (@Zeus_Cannon) 6 December 2018
It's time Marriner called it a day he's as poor as it gets
— Michael watts (@mikewatts0610) 6 December 2018
This is the most ridiculous precedent in my opinion. The FA should be able to take any retrospective action whether or not a ref sees it.
— Torreira Good Ebening (@GreeneBantern) 6 December 2018
— Brian McNaney (@Macco4) 6 December 2018
Shirt pulling > hair pulling said the @FA
— GOODBAD KiD™ ♏ 🇬🇭 (@manaphmeek) 6 December 2018
Referee should explain why he thinks it’s not violent play
— Shane Roberts (@Shanerobertz93) 6 December 2018
Disgusting – the FA is a joke
— Will Woodmansee (@Will_Woodmansee) 6 December 2018
The irony, of course, is that Fellaini was a victim of a similar incident during the 2015/16 season. The midfielder had his hair pulled by Robert Huth but as the officials didn’t give a foul at the time, the German was given a three-match ban by the FA.
The inconsistency is borne out from the fact that the FA don’t want to set a precedent by correcting a decision made by the referee on the night as it would be perceived as undermining officials.