Pepe cleared over stamp claims

Image: Pepe: Facing no action over alleged stamp despite condemnation

Real Madrid star Pepe has escaped punishment for an alleged stamp during Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg against Barcelona.

Defender faces no action

Real Madrid star Pepe has escaped punishment for an alleged stamp during Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg against Barcelona. The Portuguese defender denied intentionally treading on Lionel Messi's hand while the World Player of the Year was grounded and the Spanish football federation (RFEF) appear to concur. The decision, after a meeting on Monday, means Pepe is available for this Wednesday's return leg at the Camp Nou. Pepe, 28, had been left out of Sunday's 4-1 home win against Athletic Bilbao and the player has suffered widespread condemnation for his role in last week's turbulent encounter. The announcement of the RFEF's decision came on the same day that England's FA charged Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli with violent conduct following a similar incident in Sunday's Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur. Balotelli appeared to stamp on the head of Spurs midfielder Scott Parker but the incident was not seen by referee Howard Webb. Pepe's alleged stamp, despite being flagged up by television replays, was apparently also missed by officials and was not mentioned by the referee in his match report.

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