FA expected to act after Sergio Aguero tangles with Wigan fans

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Referee Anthony Taylor (L) talks to Manchester City players after giving a red card to Manchester City's English midfielder Fabian Delph during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City at the DW Stadium in Wigan, northwest England, on Feb. 19, 2018. (Oli Scarff/AFP)
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Manchester City supporters react after the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City at the DW Stadium in Wigan, northwest England, on Feb. 19, 2018. (Oli Scarff/AFP)
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola clashes with Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook after Manchester City's Fabian Delph was shown a red card (Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine)
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Manchester City's Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho (L) walks as Referee Anthony Taylor (C) walks with Wigan Athletic players after giving a red card to Manchester City's English midfielder Fabian Delph during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City at the DW Stadium in Wigan, northwest England, on Feb. 19, 2018. (Oli Scarff/AFP)
Updated 20 February 2018
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FA expected to act after Sergio Aguero tangles with Wigan fans

WIGAN, UK: The Football Association are likely to launch an investigation into Wigan and Manchester City after Sergio Aguero was forced to defend himself at the end of a turbulent fifth round FA Cup tie at the DW Stadium.
Will Grigg’s late winning goal saw League One Wigan defeat Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders in an ill-tempered game that boiled over on the final whistle.
Wigan supporters invaded the pitch to celebrate at the end of the tie and Aguero, who was shaking the hand of opposing defender Chey Dunkley at the time, became embroiled in an ugly altercation with a number of fans.
Aguero was forced to defend himself as the scene threatened to turn even more violent and City staff had to help shepherd him off the field and to the safety of the dressing room.
“It’s not right,” said Wigan manager Paul Cook. “I haven’t seen the incident so I can’t comment. But players’ safety has to be paramount for everyone.”
City are expected to contact Wigan themselves to demand answers about the lack of protection offered their players at the end, although the FA action may well take that out of their hands.
The trouble was not over there as a number of home fans taunted the City support and, in response, the visitors began to tear at advertising hoardings in front of them.
Police became involved in scuffles with City supporters that continued for several minutes and the FA are certain to review footage, and read referee Anthony Taylor’s report, before contacting the two clubs and deciding whether to issue charges.
The problems were not restricted to off the field matters with City being reduced to 10 men late in the first half following a foul by Fabian Delph on Max Power which saw Taylor first produce a yellow card before changing it to red.
That will rule Delph out of the Carabao Cup Final with Arsenal on Sunday and City’s anger at Taylor’s decision was evident in its wake, with Aguero arguing with the Wigan bench and Guardiola and opposite number Cook being separated by staff as they engaged in a furious argument in the tunnel at half-time.
“It’s a red card,” said Guardiola, who has been vocal this season after his own players have been the victim of bad fouls that did not produce red cards.
“You want to ask me about football, ask me. Nothing happened in the tunnel.
“He should stay in the position, that’s all. They were a really aggressive opponent.”
The loss of Delph, who is playing at left-back in the absence of long-term injury victim Benjamin Mendy, could prove problematic in this crucial period of the season.
But, contrary to his on-field actions, Guardiola claimed he had no problem with the decision.
“It’s an unnecessary action,” he said. “The referee decides what he decides. I’m not here to judge so it can be a red card. We have to learn from that.”
The stunning upset, a repeat of the 2013 FA Cup Final result, carried Wigan through to a home FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Southampton and ends City’s dream of winning all four competitions this season.
“I didn’t have the feeling that we didn’t try,” said Guardiola. “That would be a worry.
“We’re sad because the FA Cup is a nice competition but football counts what happens in 94 minutes. They deserved to go through.”
The victory, however, was undoubtedly marred by the scenes at the end and the sight of Aguero having to defend himself as he left the field.
Wigan chairman David Sharpe joined the criticism of the pitch invasion by his club’s supporters.
“It is not nice to see, football is emotional — that’s what it is to fans,” he said. “But I don’t like to see this at the end of the game.
“It is a massive result, but we have to stay classy in football, I don’t like what I am seeing here.”


‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

Updated 15 December 2018
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‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

LONDON: Felipe Massa has acknowledged the possibility of Formula E becoming more popular than its more illustrious rival Formula One, ahead of his debut at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia today.
The Brazilian ace swapped the roaring engines of F1 for the blistering battery power of Formula E this season, and told Arab News that the idea was not “impossible.”
“On overtaking, Formula 1, that’s a difficult question to answer. But what can I say, is that it’s not impossible. We just need to wait and see how things go, (whether) it is ‘when’ or ‘if,’ but it’s definitely not impossible,” he said.
“Formula E and electric cars are becoming ever-more present, but it will definitely be the future, even in the short-term future.
“It (the technology) has already arrived in some countries and will in other countries, too, it is the future. I think Formula E has used that mentality, even five years ago to build this (motorsport) category,” he added.
Massa, who raced for 15 seasons in Formula One and won 11 grands prix, was also positive about the potential of Formula E as it continues to expand after its inception in 2011 and inaugural season in 2014.
“It will take a little bit of time, it’s not easy to get things perfect straight away, but look at the past two years and how much the championship is growing.
“When I say growing, it’s not just with the quality of the drivers, but also with manufacturers’ teams and companies, who are really getting behind the sport.
“Look how many companies they are signing on as sponsors, on many different levels, even companies that sell fuel,” he said.
“We are even racing (this weekend) in a country known as an oil country. So, I think this shows how much this championship is growing.”
Massa also agreed with comments made by F1 director Ross Brawn, who recently said that the highest level of motorsport had become too predictable.
“Only certain racers can win in Formula One, but Formula E is unpredictable and a good example (of that) is that the winners in all past seasons have been different drivers,” he told Arab News.
The affable driver said he is relishing the new challenge that Formula E will pose to his skills and abilities, adding that with the exception of certain parts of the Monaco and Mexico circuits, each track will be new to him.
“I like a challenge, there is a lot to learn and a lot to test myself with and learning the car, working with the team,” he said.
“Even though I’m experienced in motorsport, with my 16 years in Formula One, this is a new test and I will have to start from zero.”
Meanwhile, defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne said hearing the words “world champion” after his name was “still cool.”
When asked about the challenge from teammate Andre Lotterer on the other side of the Techeetah garage, the Frenchman was full of praise for the German driver.
“He is absolutely one of the most talented drivers, and I expect him to be on the same level as I am and, for sure, it’s going to be a nice competition between us.
“It will be good for the team, as that will push everybody, and that is what we want as a team.”
The former F1 driver was complimentary about Formula E’s new “attack mode,” but voiced concerns about the danger the system posed to drivers on corners on the challenging Ad Diriyah circuit this weekend.