The Manchester City manager is set to be reprimanded by the FA, the English Football Association, for his consistent card waving gestures. The gestures typically involve Roberto Mancini waving a closed hand, with finger and thumb touching exclusively, high above his head, indicating that the referee should award a card, either yellow or red, to an opponent. The reprimand is unlikely to include any touchline ban, although it might yet include a fine and a warning for provocative behaviour and attempting to influence the referee.
The behaviour hasalways been unappreciated in England,yeti n other countries it is routine and often accepted as fair. Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, attested to as much just recently. After the Wigan vs Manchester City game, which the away side won 1-0, Roberto Martinez commented on his counterparts behaviour. During the match there was an incident where a Wigan player might have been sent off for a hand ball. The referee decided the offence only warranted a yellow card. The Manchester City manager did not appreciate the decision and proceeded to protest against it by gesticulating that the referee ought to havepunished the player with a red card instead. Roberto Martinez said that the behaviour is normal in Spain, Italy and France, but, he understands that the football culture is different in England and such behaviour is neither expected or condoned.
Wayne Rooney also commented on Roberto Mancini’s behaviour on twitter, igniting a brief war of words. In a similar situation, just a week previously, Steven Gerrard had a few unsavoury comments to make about the Manchester City manager following the Liverpool team’s victory in Manchester in the Carling Cup semi final. The Manchester City manager was accused of double standards, complaining when Wayne Rooney had asked the referee to send off Vincent Kompany in the FA Cup tie between Manchester City and Manchester United, and thenhappening to do the same himself in the following few matches. More pertinently, Roberto Mancini had done as much before the incident, so his complaints were out of touch and somewhat hypocritical.
As it stands the Italian is losing a public relations battle, his image being that of a manager without ethics who will do whatever necessary to win, whatever the costs. Even if that involves cheating. Something not appreciated at all in the English Premier League. Roberto Mancini, previously a manager in the Italian Serie A, probably understands the furore and recognises the need to adapt his behaviour.