The only thing that could’ve made Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea yesterday any worse is if Harry Kane went and got himself retroactively banned by the FA. That was the suggestion after a visibly irritated Kane got into an altercation with Cesar Azpilicueta midway in the first half. The cameras showed Kane “leaning in” with his head towards Azpilicueta, leading some to wonder if it constituted a headbutt.
Not so, according to Evening Standard journalist Dan Kilpatrick, who tweeted today that Kane will not receive any retroactive punishment because the incident was seen by match official Andre Marriner’s staff at the time.
#thfc Kane will face no further action from the FA because clash with César Azpilicueta was seen by match officials last night.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) February 28, 2019
Replays and photos of the incident were inconclusive as to whether Kane even made contact with Azpilicueta’s head, and if it was a headbutt it was probably the slowest and most gentle headbutt of all time. Anyway, it doesn’t matter — according to the rules of the game, the FA can only issue retrospective punishments for infractions that take place on the pitch if the incident was not seen at the time by the match official or their staff. In this case, Andre Marriner saw what happened between Kane and Azpilicueta, decided it was not worthy of any action, and noted it in his match report.
Kane also picked up a yellow card for another incident with defender David Luiz just before time, which was itself kinda dumb considering Luiz started the whole thing by being a colossal d—k, trying to wrestle Kane to the ground, and kicking out at him on the sidelines. In fairness, Kane responded by shoving Luiz away twice when the Chelsea defender tried to get in his face.
You can say that Kane might have been a bit lucky with the Azpilicueta incident as even when you’re frustrated it’s never a good idea to even lean in with your head like that. Had Azpilicueta decided to fall over like he’d been shot it’s quite possible that Kane might have been issued a red card on the pitch.
As it stands, nothing will happen, which is probably best for all concerned. Kane’s now available to do what he does best: score against Arsenal in a North London Derby.