By Editor Wayne Veysey
Diego Costa is set to escape punishment for stamping on Martin Skrtel during Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
TV footage showed Costa forcing his foot into Skrtel’s stomach after they had fallen to the ground an hour in yesterday’s Premier League clash.
Referee Mark Clattenburg did not appear to see the Stamford Bridge flashpoint as he did not censure Costa for what appeared to be violent conduct.
But Clattenburg is understood to have claimed that he saw the incident clearly and simply viewed it as two combative players involved in a physical altercation.
The Football Asssociation have the power to hand the controversial Chelsea striker a retrospective ban after viewing video clips of the incident, but only in cases where the referee did not see what happened. If found guilty of violent conduct, Costa would face the standard suspension for violent conduct of three matches.
Ex-referee Howard Webb told BT Sport yesterday that Costa’s conduct was conclusive, and presumed that his former colleague had not properly seen the incident.
“If Mark Clattenburg has the benefit of our cameras, Diego Costa would have been sent off there. It is a clear, clear red card. He is a lucky boy.”
Costa was banned for three matches by a three-man independent commission after clashing with Gabriel Paulista during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal in late September.
Similarly, he escaped censure during the match but was found guilty of violent conduct and missed matches against Walsall, Southampton and Newcastle.
Costa played the entire match against Liverpool but failed to add to his three goals this season.