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Villas-Boas blasts FA ruling
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is furious with the Football Association for its "joke" decision not to ban Fernando Torres for scratching Jan Vertonghen's face.
The Chelsea striker was sent off for two yellow cards late in Saturday's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, but arguably should have seen a straight red card earlier in the match.
Torres was captured on television scratching the face of Spurs defender Vertonghen, which left visible marks and led to the FA reviewing the incident.
However, as one of the match officials saw the incident, no action could be taken under FA rules - a decision that infuriated Villas-Boas.
"It's extremely difficult to know where to start," the Portuguese said, speaking ahead of the Europa League clash with Anzhi Makhachkala.
"Obviously, it is almost a farcical decision. It doesn't matter to me which player or club is involved.
"Neither do I want to, with my words, put into question Fernando's integrity; neither their manager's, in trying to defend what is our position.
"I think the FA has made a decision almost a joke. It looks incredible.
"How can you see the images, pretty clear, and come out without punishment, on something (which) overtakes all professional behaviour?
"I think the decision is a disgrace. If the committee can't solve such clear images I don't think it sets out a good first example and we're not asking nobody to retract themselves; the player to retract themselves.
"That would not be fair.
"This is a competition and in the end they came up with what they thought was fair for that.
"We don't want Fernando suspended because it can make them weaker, because their bench is so strong, but I think the FA has lost all opportunity to put some sense into the images everybody saw.
"I'm extremely grateful for ex-refs to be able to enlighten people a little bit more, though I think most of you guys saw the incident as something that is not tolerable in football."
Another decision in the spotlight after Saturday's frantic draw was the booking handed to Andros Townsend for diving.
The 22-year-old winger admitted taking a tumble and apologised to referee Mike Dean at half-time for the incident he is keen not to build a reputation for.
Villas-Boas added: "His pace is absolutely incredible so you can easily understand, as with Gareth Bale, that any contact might affect the balance of the player, but I don't think we have enough examples to call him a cheating player.
"I think he was right to correct himself straight away. In regards to the future it will come with actions, not with words, but I'm sure someone who comes out with such a strong statement is able to continue to avoid that part of his game."
Townsend is part of the 20-man squad that has travelled to Russia for Spurs' Europa League clash with Anzhi.
Due to the current conflict in Dagestan, the Group K match is being held 1,100 miles away in Ramenskoye, a town on the outskirts of Moscow.
The 16,500-capacity Saturn Stadium is expected to be a third full for the encounter, although few will have come to see Anzhi.
After spending millions of roubles bringing in the likes of Samuel Eto'o, Willian and Christopher Samba, billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov suddenly and significantly withdrew his backing this summer.
It saw Anzhi's £116million budget reduced to as low as a reported £32million, leading to a fire sale of their star players and the sacking of coach Rene Meulensteen after only 16 days at the helm.
It means just months after aiming for domestic and continental success, they head into the clash with Spurs without a win this season.
"They are radically different from what Anzhi built in these past years," Villas-Boas said.
"The changes are so radical and dramatic that you find it hard to recognise the team and the project they set out to do in the beginning.
"It looks apparent that staying in the league has become their priority.
"They've got one point out of the game against Sheriff so it's going to be a difficult game with difficult conditions.
"We don't want to come here and play with the competition - we want to be serious about the project in that way."