Hackett demands FA action as 'clear punch' on O'Nien missed in Sunderland clash
Wycombe’s Anis Mehmeti must be handed a retrospective three-match ban for his “clear punch” on Sunderland midfielder Luke O’Nien.
That is the view of ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Sunderland’s 3-1 win on 28 August.
The Black Cats led 2-0 after 31 minutes when the off-the-ball incident between O’Nien and Mehmeti occurred.
The Albanian attacking midfielder tussled with O’Nien before swinging a fist into the midfielder’s chest.
The altercation went unnoticed by referee John Busby and the Wycombe player escaped without so much as a booking.
But Hackett predicts that Mehmeti will get his comeuppance when the incident is reviewed at a later date by the FA.
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“This is a clear punch, off the ball on an opponent,” he told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitely.
“Clearly, it was missed by the referee and missed by the match officials. That then allows the FA to look at it and consider retrospective punishment.
“It is a deliberate punch. The sanction would be determined, to some degree, by the committee. I would expect it to be a three-match ban.
“This is the risk. At a Premier League level, this sort of thing is not going to happen because VAR is going to pick it up straight away.
“But at this level, they don’t have VAR so things like this will happen. You cannot allow that player to get away with that punch and not be punished.”