FA gives McAuley ban to Dawson, charges Skrtel with violent conduct

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The FA has announced it is transferring Gareth McAuley’s one-match ban for his straight red card to Craig Dawson after claims of wrongful dismissal were upheld.

Referee Neil Swarbrick had apologized for incorrectly sending off McAuley for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity after Dawson was the one who fouled Wilfried Bony in the 2nd minute of Manchester City’s 3-0 win over the Baggies. Straight red cards for violent conduct usually bring with them a three-match ban or longer, but denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity and other non-violent dismissals carry just a one-match suspension.

The suspension means Dawson will miss West Brom’s trip to London to take on QPR on April 4. West Brom did not appeal the sending off, likely because red was the correct call and the FA had probably already informed the club they were transferring the ban without the Baggies needing to appeal.

In addition, the FA announced it is charging Martin Skrtel with violent conduct after his stamp on Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea in the final moments of Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to the Red Devils. De Gea collected a long ball over the top that Skrtel was chasing, and the Liverpool defender stomped on the opposing goalkeeper’s ankle as he came running through. De Gea crumpled in pain before getting up to confront Skrtel, but after separating the two, the referee blew the final whistle.

Skrtel and Liverpool have until tomorrow evening to respond. Should Skrtel end up with the customary three-match ban, it would be a massive blow to the Reds. The 30-year-old has flourished since Brendan Rodgers switched to a three-CB system, becoming a major contributor to Liverpool’s 13-match unbeaten run that came to an end this weekend.

The FA release confirmed that the officials did not see the incident, allowing them to retroactively apply the charge. The three-man panel of former officials all must agree the incident should have resulted in a sending off, as they did in this case, the FA said.