Hughes blasts FA ‘inconsistency’ after Gabriel let-off

Date published: Wednesday 23rd September 2015 9:27 - Mark Holmes

Ibrahim Afellay: Stoke midfielder had suspension reduced by one game

Mark Hughes is angry that the FA banned Stoke’s Ibrahim Afellay for a slap yet rescinded Arsenal defender Gabriel’s red card for a kick.

Afellay was sent off for slapping Craig Gardner in Stoke’s defeat to West Brom last month, but the Football Association reduced his three-game suspension by a game following an appeal by the Potters.

Gabriel, meanwhile, was sent off for kicking Diego Costa during Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea but on Tuesday had his suspension overturned altogether, although he faces a separate charge of improper conduct for refusing to leave the pitch after the red card.

Speaking after Afellay returned in Stoke’s 1-0 Capital One Cup win at Fulham on Tuesday night, Hughes told The Sentinel: “The FA leaves us scratching our head with the sanction he (Afellay) was given.

“Then somebody who kicks somebody else, and the ref sees it, gets their ban wiped out.

“The inconsistency is there for everyone to see.”

Hughes made eight changes to his line-up for the game at Craven Cottage, with Peter Crouch scoring the only goal on just his second start of the season.

“I was pleased with what we produced,” Hughes said.

“A lot of the guys needed game time and it was important I was fair to them because they have been patient and supported the team.

“I thought there were some really good performances out there, I thought Afellay came back to good effect.

“Second half we expected Fulham to come back at us, and they went a bit gung-ho in the last 10 minutes and to be fair got good balls into the box.

“We’ve talked before now about seeing the game out and thankfully we have managed to do that and now we are in good heart for the weekend.”

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