London: Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will face no further punishment for a studs-up challenge on Arsenal's Alex Song. The foul was not punished during Sunday's 1-0 loss at Arsenal, but retrospective action cannot be taken because at least one of the match officials witnessed the incident, the English Football Association said.
He would have faced a three-match ban if he had been found guilty of violent conduct and a further three-match ban because it would have counted as his fourth sending off of the season. Balotelli was sent off later in Sunday's match for a second foul on Bacary Sagna, leaving him with just a three-match ban.
Of the Song incident, the FA said sanctions are normally imposed retrospectively for off-the-ball incidents "where there was no contest for possession and could not be deemed to be re-refereeing an incident."
"In agreement with FIFA, this is how 'not seen' incidents are dealt with retrospectively in England," the FA added in a statement. "It is a policy that is agreed with all football stakeholders."
Balotelli was first dismissed at Liverpool in November and was then hit with a retrospective four-match ban for stamping on Tottenham's Scott Parker in January.