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The Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has apologised after admitting he headbutted Ryan Shawcross during the 1-1 draw at Stoke.
While Fellaini went unpunished by the match officials, replays showed him making contact with Shawcross as they jostled for position in the area for a second-half corner.
After the match, the Everton manager David Moyes admitted the incident was "not acceptable" and Fellaini issued an apology on the club's website. "I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my team-mates and to our fans at the game," he said.
Despite his apology, the incident is likely to come under FA scrutiny and the influential player may miss key games for high-flying Everton.
EVERTON boss David Moyes last night blasted Marouane Fellaini and labelled his head-butt on Ryan Shawcross as ‘UNACCEPTABLE’.
TV replays showed Fellaini nutted the Stoke skipper in the 60th minute at the Britannia – but referee Mark Halsey missed the flashpoint and took no action.
Moyes, though, later confirmed there will be NO Everton appeal if the FA hit the big Belgian with a retrospective three-match ban for violent conduct.
The Toffees coach rapped: “We’ll take the punishment if it’s given. Some might say they didn’t see it.
“But I’ve just told Marouane that it’s not acceptable. I won’t accept it as a manager.
“Fellaini is a really good player and that’s the biggest disappointment if he gets banned as he’s so important.”
Stoke boss Tony Pulis claimed it was the THIRD time this season officials have failed to send off opposition players for reckless fouls.
He said: “We had David Luiz on Jon Walters, Ciaran Clark on Greg Whelan and now this.’’
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has apologised after admitting he headbutted Ryan Shawcross during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
While Fellaini went unpunished by the match officials at the time, replays clearly showed him making contact with Shawcross as they jostled for position in the box for a second-half corner.
Following the match, Everton manager David Moyes admitted the incident was "not acceptable" and tonight Fellaini issued an apology on the club's official website.
"I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my team-mates and to our fans at the game," said Fellaini.
"There was a lot of pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn't feel I was getting any protection from the officials.
"Nevertheless I know I shouldn't have done what I did.
"I have also apologised to the manager and the staff. I have no excuses, I was disappointed with the way I was being treated and I lost my temper, which was unprofessional of me."
Despite Fellaini's apology, the incident is likely to come under scrutiny from the Football Association's disciplinary panel when they review the footage this week.
Moyes said after the game that Everton would accept any punishment, with referee Mark Halsey's failure to act allowing the FA scope to hand down retrospective punishment.
Moyes admitted he thought Fellaini had warranted a red card and emphasised he would not stand for that sort of behaviour from his players.
"We will take the punishment if it is given for it," Moyes said.
"I have told him [Fellaini] in the dressing room that it is not acceptable - I won't accept it as a manager that he does that."
Asked how he might compensate for losing a player as influential as Fellaini to suspension should the 25 year-old be handed a ban by the FA, Moyes said: "There is no absence yet, but he is a really good player and a big part of the team, and that is why I think the biggest disappointment, if anything does happen, is that he will have let the team down."
He added: "I only normally complain if I think we are getting hard done by and I have said a few things about how I think we have been treated by decisions recently.
"So I think if you are going to talk about it with your own team... Today, it should have been a sending-off in the game.
"If the referee [Mark Halsey] had been able to see it, it should have been."
Stoke manager Tony Pulis claimed Fellaini had in fact been guilty of three unpunished offences this afternoon, and referenced others he felt had been committed by different players against his team this season.
"I'll say this - David Luiz's challenge on Jon Walters [in a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea], Ciaran Clark's challenge on Glenn Whelan last week [in a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa], and then the three incidents today," Pulis said.
"I thought the rules were set out in stone.
"I like Mark Halsey and I think he's a good referee, but I don't know whether he has seen it.
"If he has seen it and not acted, then you really want to know why he has not acted.
"I don't think you can hide behind anything and what he [Fellaini] has done is wrong."
Are Stoke City becoming victims? The scenario seems implausible, given their physicality, but it has become a possibility in recent weeks and emerged again here after Everton's Marouane Fellaini butted Ryan Shawcross only for the referee to miss the incident.
Everton manager David Moyes was seething about the conduct of his midfielder, who is facing the prospect of a ban through retrospective action. With Everton looking frustrated, having just conceded an equaliser, Fellaini struck Shawcross with his head while they tussled during a corner. Had referee Mark Halsey spotted it, Fellaini would surely have been sent off.
“We’ll take the punishment if it’s given,” Moyes said. “I’ve told him that it’s not acceptable and I’m not accepting it as manager.”
Shawcross, so often a pillar of strength at the heart of Stoke’s defence, was in the wars here, with Everton players appearing to target him for some rough treatment. On a testing afternoon, he also scored an own goal that put his team behind.
He was struck in three incidents in particular, two involving Fellaini. Discussing the butt, Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, said: “If Mark Halsey has seen it, then why hasn’t he acted? You’ve got to hope he didn’t see it. What Fellaini did what was wrong.”
Although Fellaini’s behaviour was inexcusable, Everton’s irascibility was understandable as they should have been 2-0 up by half-time, with Leon Osman missing a simple chance.
Moyes punched the air in frustration and, justifiably, was open-mouthed in disbelief.
Stoke equalised early in the second half when Kenwyne Jones headed in his first Premier League goal since August last year, ending a barren run of 28 league games.
Earlier, Everton had started well as Seamus Coleman cut the ball back for Nikica Jelavic to shoot, but Shawcross blocked. The pressure increased when Steven Pienaar had a strike blocked by Glenn Whelan’s left arm, although Halsey refused claims for a penalty.
Stoke battled their way back into the first half, but their finishing was poor. At the other end, Shawcross reacted well again to clear off the line after Steven Naismith had chipped the ball over Asmir Begovic. Shawcross’s afternoon was tarnished, though, when he scored his own goal. Piennar crossed and the defender’s back header looped over Begovic, caught off his line.
Everton, typically productive down the left, should have scored when Leighton Baines produced a perfect cut-back for Osman, who side-footed wide. With that reprieve, Stoke emerged firing after the break and Charlie Adam had a shot blocked at close range.
They were level when Shawcross launched a long ball forward and Jones outjumped Phil Jagielka to plant a header beyond goalkeeper Tim Howard. The momentum was with Stoke, as Jones charged forward again and had an effort smothered by Howard before it hit the post.
Stoke imposed themselves during the second half and threatened again late on when Cameron Jerome had a shot blocked. Sylvain Distin cleared Peter Crouch’s follow-up attempt. Moyes said: “It was probably the least effective we’ve played this season.”
Everton boss David Moyes has put Wigan star James McCarthy at the top of his wish list – if Marouane Fellaini leaves.
Moyes sent trusted coach Jimmy Lumsden to watch McCarthy in dazzling action last week as he prepares for the possible sale of wanted man Fellaini.
McCarthy is deep in contract and on big wages with the Latics, but Moyes would come in with a big bid if he is forced to seek a quick replacement for Fellaini next month.
The Goodison chief has been tacking former Hamilton hopeful McCarthy for years but is now pushing him up his short-list of targets because of his talent and age.
If Everton sold Fellaini for £30million Moyes would try to get McCarthy out of Wigan for between £10m to £12m, money that Dave Whelan would find hard to resist.
Moyes does not want to sell Fellaini as he chases a top-four finish, but the Toffees are realistic that a major offer from Chelsea, Zenit St Petersbuurg or even Paris Stt Germain changes the picture.
McCarthy is and ideal solution in Moyes’s eyes, with West Ham’s Momo Diame also in his sights until he picked up a bad hamstring injury last weekend.
Moyes is set to sign Belgian international midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, but that deal is inside his budget and will not mean a sale.
Everton tried to snatch the 23-year-old ‘sitter’ in the summer window, but hope to agree a package for the highly-rated Bruges star next month. The deal would cost around £3 million.
Meanwhile, Moyes has called for the FA to punish Marouane Fellaini after he appeared to headbutt Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross.
David Moyes read the riot act to Marouane Fellaini last night for the mad clash which will see Everton’s top goalscorer handed a three-match ban.
The Belgian star, who has apologised for his conduct, will face FA action tomorrow when the disciplinary committee reviews film of THREE separate clashes with Ryan Shawcross.
In the worst of them, Fellaini headbutted the England defender as they waited to challenge for a 60th minute corner during yesterday’s 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.
He also appeared to both elbow and kick Shawcross in two other incidents during a stormy second half.
Everton boss Moyes offered no defence for the 25-year-old Belgium international. He said: “We will take the punishment, if it comes.
“I have told them in the dressing room that it is not acceptable. As a manager, I will not accept it that he does that.
“Some might have come in here and hid behind it and said: ‘Sorry, didn’t see it’. I have answered it as straight and as honestly as I possibly can.”
Moyes added: “I normally only complain if I think we are getting hard done by – I have said a few things about how I think we are getting treated by decisions recently. So, if you are going to talk about it for your own team, you have got to talk about it when it happens to you.
“Today, it should have been a sending-off in the game, if the referee had been able to see it.” Referee Mark Halsey, who was watching several other clashes as both teams lined up for the corner, clearly failed to see the headbutt.
That will allow the FA to take action through their video review system.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis said: “I just want to know why the referee has not acted. It can only be that he did not see it – it has got to be that, or at least I hope so.
“I like Mark Halsey and I think he is a good ref. We have played in games this season and there have been three incidents now – the David Luiz challenge on Jon Walters, Ciaran Clark’s tackle on Glenn Whelan last week and now not one, but three incidents today. I thought the rules were supposed to be set in stone.
“I don’t think any manager could hide behind anything over this incident. What Fellaini has done is wrong. What I am more concerned about is what I have said, that nothing has been done.
“Would I have liked the chance to play against 10 men for 20 minutes to see if we would have won? I have said what I have said.”
Fellaini has been Everton’s key player in their best start to a season for several years, scoring eight goals to lift them into the Champions League places.
But discipline has also been a problem. He has already served one ban for five bookings and has had a sixth since then.
Moyes said: “He is a really good player and that is the biggest disappointment, if anything does happen. He will have let the team down.”
Fellaini has issued a public apology for his moment of headbutt madness.
The Everton star will be handed a three-match ban for violent conduct after clashing with Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross yesterday.
Fellaini said: “I apologise to Ryan, my team-mates and our fans at the game. I shouldn’t have done what I did. I’ve also apologised to the manager and staff.”