Manchester United have decided against appealing the three-match ban faced by Paul Pogba.
Pogba was shown a straight red card on Saturday for a clumsy tackle on Arsenal full back Hector Bellerin.
It had been suggested on Sunday that the Manchester United midfielder may be banned for longer than the standard three games due to his applause after the dismissal and that remains possible, although unlikely, as an FA decision on the matter has yet to be made.
If Pogba’s clapping is perceived as a sarcastic attempt at undermining referee Andre Marriner, he could see his ban extended but it’s more likely that he will receive the benefit of the doubt as he was walking away from the official at the time and could argue that he was applauding the travelling fans.
At the time of writing, the Frenchman is facing a three-game ban, meaning he will miss next Sunday’s Manchester derby.
Plenty of Manchester City supporters can recognise the irony of the fact that United’s record signing will not be available for the meeting of first and second in the Premier League, after Pogba claimed that he’d hoped some City players would pick up an injury this week.
The 24-year-old will also miss United’s upcoming Premier League games at home to Bournemouth and away to West Bromwich Albion.
United manager Jose Mourinho admitted that he hadn’t seen the incident but insisted that there was no intent from the midfielder.
“I didn’t see the red card,” Mourinho said. “I was not even looking in that direction. No television yet for me.
“I just know that Paul is frustrated and a bit disappointed with this colleague, Koscielny, with this kind of reaction.
“He is very frustrated because everybody knows that Paul is a clean player and it was not his intention, not at all, to be close to a red card.”
Pogba is available to face CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday night and in Mourinho’s pre-match press conference, he insisted that the France international will play at Old Trafford.
“He’s not suspended for the Champions League. He plays tomorrow. He plays tomorrow,” Mourinho said