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The Andy Gray Column: FA have got themselves in a pickle over Mario Balotelli ban

Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to Mancunian Matters

I think the Football Association have got themselves into a bit of a pickle with their actions over Mario Balotelli and it would appear that they have lost a few supporters.

The problem with the Balotelli and Scott Parker altercation is that whenever you look at an incident over and over again, and particularly when you do so in super slow-motion like the TV cameras gave us the opportunity to do time and time again, then an incident can look much more damaging than it really was.

Mario Balotelli has said that he did not intentionally try and harm Scott Parker.

Now if we don’t believe that or the FA doesn’t believe that then they have to call him a liar which is essentially what they have done.

The FA have already given referee Howard Webb an out because he has said that he didn’t see it, although many people think he did, and they have accepted that.

Who is going to call the referee a liar? Certainly not the FA. No-one is going to do it.

We have to be careful that this incident doesn’t just become a bit of Balotelli-bashing and the FA hasn’t helped in this respect.

I like most people, when they saw it at normal speed saw nothing wrong and it just looked like a bit of a coming together.

But it was then shown time and time again in slow-motion and from 14 different angles and it was only then when you thought ‘there could be something in that’.

It is a tough one but if he has tried to stamp on Scott Parker then no one can condone that. It is not something we want to see and if that is the case then he must accept his penalty for that.

But the problem they have now with championing Wayne Rooney’s blatant kick out against Montenegro to get his ban reduced – and now with this Balotelli incident – is that it is clearly a case of double standards.

England is a nation and the FA is trying to protect their international footballers so that they can make the most of them for the European Championships.

But on the flip side of that I think it is clear for all to see that they are not really interested in protecting Balotelli.

It would appear that England is selective when it comes to protecting England internationals and then when it comes to the rest of the league.

And the FA has to be very careful here as it clearly isn’t right to have favouritism and it should be stamped out.

Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store; http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/share-the-match/id450784289?mt=8

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