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FA to charge Mascherano with improper conduct

The tabloids and the broadsheets have got their knickers in a knot over Javier Mascherano's plea of innocence following his red card for dissent in Liverpool's 3-0 loss Man Utd on Sunday. It now looks as if the FA will charge the Argentinian with improper conduct, meaning that he will miss Liverpool's next three league games.

Speaking from the Argentinian training camp in Egypt, Mascherano said: "I do not know why I was sent off. I asked the referee what was happening. I did not swear, I was not aggressive and I did not confront him. All I did was ask him what was happening, nothing else. So when he showed me the second yellow card and sent me off I could not believe it. I am sorry to my team-mates because that meant we went down to 10 men and that made things even more difficult for us."

So what did Mascherano actually say? The Guardian reports that the Argentinian midfielder asked referee Steve Bennett "What's happening?" Bennett then produced a second yellow with the smug authority of an authoritarian primary school teacher scolding a mouthy pupil.

The red card seemed a tad harsh. But it looks as if Mascherano's 30 yard dash to deliver his succinct inquiry and his subsequent refusal to leave the field following his dismissal will lead to him being charged with improper conduct by the FA.

The one person who must be delighted with the Mascherano's outburst is his English teacher. While those guardians of the English language over at The Sun have shown their usual restraint by labelling Mascherano a "dunce", it cannot be denied that the Argentinian has fully mastered interrogatives in the present continuous.

Ironically Sunday's events took place in the week that the FA launched its 'Respect' campaign to try and stamp out dissent in the game.

Man Utd 3 Liverpool 0

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