Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he expects a media storm following Wayne Rooney’s off the ball elbow on Wigan player James McCarthy.
Rooney appeared to throw his elbow in the face of Wigan midfielder McCarthy, and the referee gave a free kick after appearing to see the incident.
After seeing the video, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez claimed the player should have been sent off and commentators and pundits alike have all agreed.
Ref Clattenburg chose not to take any action, which may save Rooney as the FA cannot go back and retrospectively change a referee’s initial decision if the referee saw it.
Ferguson thought the referee made the correct decision first time round, but expects the usual media witch hunt against Rooney.
“I have had a chance to see it,” said Ferguson. “There is nothing in it.
“But, what will happen, the question has been asked and because it is Wayne Rooney the press will raise a campaign to get him hung by Tuesday or electrocuted or something like that.
“It is unbelievable. Watch the press. It will be interesting to see it.”
Martinez, Wigan’s manager, disagreed.
“I saw the incident clearly and the referee did as well because he gave the free-kick,” said Martinez.
“Once you give a free-kick it is quite clear that it is a red card. When you look at the replay, it is quite clear he catches James McCarthy in the face with his elbow.
“If one of my players had done that, I would think he was very lucky to stay on the pitch.
“It is a big call in the game. It is unfortunate because the referee saw it but he didn’t feel it was a red card.
“It was not because he was Wayne Rooney. It was an incident in the game. That is it.
“I saw the referee at half-time. He said he felt it was not a red card and that Rooney had just clipped McCarthy.”