The Tunnel Accident

The Football Association has confirmed there will be no charges brought over the tunnel fracas prior to Tuesday night's powderkeg Premiership clash between Arsenal and Manchester United. Referee Graham Poll was forced to step in to defuse a simmering row between opposing captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane before the teams had even entered the playing area. Keane claimed Vieira had attempted to intimidate Gary Neville and stepped into the row on his team-mate's behalf. However, in his official match report, Poll has confirmed he dealt with the matter to his satisfaction, so no further action is required. "We have received a report from referee Graham Poll following last night's Arsenal v Manchester United Premier League fixture in relation to an incident in the tunnel prior to the match," said a statement on "He has confirmed that he is satisfied that he dealt with the incident at the time. Therefore no further action is required." Unlike the 'pizzagate' debacle at Old Trafford in October, which rumbled on into the build-up of the latest encounter, the FA are anxious to quell any further row. Privately, Soho Square officials were delighted at Poll's handling of the game and feel he dealt with every key incident during the game in the correct manner. It means United's 4-2 win will pass off without further intervention from the governing body, whose new chief executive Brian Barwick was in the Highbury stands on Tuesday. What is clear however is the bad blood that exists between Keane and Vieira. Keane claimed the Frenchman sparked the tunnel bust-up by attempting to intimidate Neville. "Patrick Vieira is six foot four inches and he is having a go at Gary," Keane told Sky Sports. "I just told him 'come and have a go at me', it's as simple as that. If he wants to intimidate our players, Gary Neville is an easy target. I am not having it." Vieira rejected the allegation, insisting: "I didn't threaten anybody. "I had a talk with Roy Keane and that is it. Gary Neville is a big lad and he can handle himself." While the FA will no doubt be hoping the fiery pair do not have to meet again this season in either the FA Cup or Champions League, one confrontation is already assured as the Republic of Ireland are due to take on France in a key World Cup qualifier in Dublin on 7 September.

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