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Fellaini escapes punishment in spitting row

ESPN staff
March 31, 2014 « Chelsea and United warned off Shaw | Test Wayin World Cup »
Marouane Fellaini assured Manchester United manager David Moyes he did not spit at Pablo Zabaleta © Getty Images
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The FA has confirmed Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini will not be punished for allegedly spitting at Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta.

Footage on YouTube had emerged appearing to show Fellaini spitting near to Zabaleta's head while the defender lay on the floor during City's 3-0 win at Old Trafford last week.

Referee Michael Oliver reportedly did not mention the alleged incident in his match report, but the FA was due to request clearer footage from broadcasters Sky before making a final decision.

The FA could have opted to retrospectively punish Fellaini if it had felt he had been guilty of misconduct, but confirmed on Monday afternoon that no action is to be taken.

Oliver booked Fellaini moments before the alleged spit towards Zabaleta for an elbow on the full-back.

After the win, Zabaleta claimed Fellaini was lucky to stay on the pitch, saying: ''I was elbowed by Fellaini. It was a red card.''

United manager David Moyes, meanwhile, said last week he had discussed the allegation with Fellaini and said the Belgium international is adamant that he did nothing wrong.

''I've spoke with Marouane and he says it isn't the case,'' Moyes said. ''We will work with the FA if that is what we have to do. Marouane is adamant that at no time did he [spit at Zabaleta]. I don't think it is completely conclusive, from what I've seen.''

The FA banned Hull's George Boyd for three matches after he spat at City goalkeeper Joe Hart earlier this month.

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