The fall-out from Leeds United’s scrap with Aston Villa is reminiscent of their 1-1 draw with Brenford in October: charges, suspensions and the same questions about why Leeds are taking the rough end of the stick from the Football Association’s disciplinary department.
The club realised that Patrick Bamford might have questions to answer over his part in Anwar El Ghazi’s red card on Sunday and the striker, who has until 6pm tomorrow to respond to a charge of deceiving referee Stuart Attwell, is unlikely to contest an automatic two-match ban.
El Ghazi’s red card was rescinded on the basis that he made no contact with Bamford but the FA caused surprise by ruling that a punch thrown by Villa’s Conor Hourihane at Mateusz Klich during the same melee was not deserving of a violent conduct charge.
It was a repeat of events after October’s draw between Leeds and Brentford when Pontus Jansson received a one-game ban for post-match comments about referee Jeremy Simpson - accusing Simpson of “robbery” - but Brentford winger Sergi Canos escaped sanction despite being caught on camera aiming a headbutt at United’s Gjanni Alioski.
Neither incident was spotted at the time by the match officials and the FA’s current policy is to ask a panel of three former referees to rule retrospectively on incidents which are classed as “not seen”.
In Canos’ case, the panel responsible failed to reach a unanimous decision, which the FA requires to proceed with misconduct charges. Hourihane also got the benefit of the doubt when his altercation with Klich was put forward for review.
Hourihane and El Ghazi will both be available for Villa’s play-off campaign while Bamford, with a two-match ban pending, is set to miss the first leg of United’s semi-final on May 11.