Patrick Vieira to escape suspension

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The Football Association have said it is unlikely that Patrick Vieira will be suspended for the start of the Premier League season following his red card in the weekend friendly against Inter Milan.

Vieira was dismissed midway through the first half of the friendly against one of his former clubs in Baltimore when he was adjudged to have elbowed Inter defender Marco Materazzi.

It had been thought that the former France international would be banned for the start of the new season, but a spokesman for the FA told Press Association Sport:"If a player gets a red card in a friendly he gets a ban for his next friendly, not for competitive matches.

"If it is overseas, it is dependent on it being reported to us by the host FA.

"In general terms, we retain the right to charge players in the most serious of misconduct cases and make sanctions applicable to competitive first-team fixtures if it is felt necessary."

City lost 3-0 to Rafa Benitez's side but assistant manager Brian Kidd thought Vieira was unlucky to be sent off, saying: "Patrick went for the ball. He genuinely didn't see the player. There was no intent there. Hopefully people will realise that it wasn't a genuine foul."

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