LONDON, September 22 – Craig Bellamy and Gary Neville have been warned by the English Football Association over their behaviour in Sunday's explosive Manchester derby.
The FA launched an investigation after Manchester City striker Bellamy responded to a fan who invaded the Old Trafford pitch by pushing him in the face.
Neville, a non-playing Manchester United substitute, was also investigated for his actions in celebrating the home side’s winner by running down the touchline towards the City fans.
But the FA have decided against charging either player with improper conduct, in Bellamy’s case because referee Martin Atkinson told FA officials that he would not have sent off the Welsh star had he seen the incident.
A statement released by the FA on Tuesday said: "The FA has today warned both Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy and Manchester United’s Gary Neville following separate incidents in Sunday’s fixture at Old Trafford.
"In relation to Craig Bellamy the match referee has confirmed that he would not have sent the player off had he seen the incident with the fan at the time.
"Craig Bellamy will be contacted by the FA and warned as to his future conduct.
"The FA would repeat its previous advice that players should not become involved with or approach fans in such circumstances.
"The FA would also take this opportunity to remind fans, managers and players of their joint responsibility towards the game and strongly condemns any pitch invasions by fans.
"Gary Neville has been reminded of his responsibilities following his actions after Manchester United’s final goal deep into injury time."
City boss Mark Hughes insisted the FA’s verdict vindicated his opinion, expressed immediately after the match, that Bellamy had done nothing wrong.
"We viewed the incident as something and nothing," he said. "Craig wasn’t privy to how much time was left to enable us to get back into the game. He wanted the guy to get off as quickly as possible and told him so in no uncertain terms.
"The guy has made an aggressive move towards him and Craig has put up a defensive hand and pushed the guy away.
"He was right to do that because you are never quite sure what is going to happen in those situations."
Meanwhile, United have also avoided any disciplinary action after City substitute Javier Garrido was struck on the head by a coin as he headed down the tunnel at half-time.
The statement added: "The FA has also contacted Manchester United regarding a coin-throwing incident during the same fixture.
"The FA fully expects the club to use all available means to identify and deal with the culprit appropriately and, along with the fan who entered the field of play, look to issue bans on attending future matches."