In the closing seconds of yesterday's game with Manchester United, center back Rio Ferdinand had an off the ball incident with Chelsea's Fernando Torres. Instead of trying to describe the incident, I'll let you watch it for yourselves:
While I found the whole incident mildly hilarious, the fact that we can see Howard Webb looking in another direction will lead to considerable debate. Having clearly not see the incident during the game, he didn't make a ruling on it during the contest. That means that the FA has the ability to act on the incident retroactively should they so choose.
What the FA does in this matter will still come down to Howard Webb. If the official tells the FA that he missed the incident during the game, he then has to report what sort of punishment he'd hand down had he seen it. If it' would have been nothing or yellow, there will be no further action. If he'd have shown red, Ferdinand would be looking at further discipline.
That's where this becomes interesting, as if he views this as a premeditated incident as opposed to general clumsiness, it would almost certainly be a sending off. That would mean that Ferdinand would be looking at a mulit-game suspension, one which would almost certainly include the replay at Stamford Bridge.
We should hear from the FA on the incident in the next day or two, as Webb's findings will likely be known by Tuesday at the latest. It just wouldn't be Chelsea/United without refereeing controversy...