READING FC striker Nelson Oliveira has broken his silence over the alleged stamp by Tyrone Mings he claims could have cost him his sight.

In an emotional first interview since sustaining the horrific facial injury which shattered his nose and required reconstructive surgery, Oliveira suggests he got off lightly and that he could easily have been blinded for life.

He is now calling on the Football Association and medial pundits like Rio Ferdinand to study the video and give their honest view on the gory incident which occurred in the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

He claims if players such as Mings can get away with such actions it will send out the wrong message to future generations.

But on-loan Norwich City forward Oliveira says he does not blame referee Geoff Eltringham for failing to spot the offence, an error which prevents the FA from punishing Mings under current rules.

However, Oliveira argues the severity of his injuries warrant further investigation by the footballing authorities as it was not Mings’ first offence.

The 25-year-old received a retrospective five-match ban for stamping on the head of ex-Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2017.

Oliveira is currently being fitted with a facemask but he will not be involved in Saturday’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday and could be struggling for next Wednesday’s home fixture against Blackburn.

Local Berkshire:

Nelson Oliveira's nose was shattered in four places during the Tyrone Mings incident.

Earlier today he spoke to local media at the club’s Hogwood Park training ground.

The Chronicle has decided not to censure the interview in any way and run Oliveira’s reaction in full.

What do you remember about the incident?

“Everything happened quickly. I remember dribbling the guy with my first touch, he grabbed me, I fell to the floor and it should be a foul.

“I felt an impact on my face which at the time I thought was his knee because it is not normal to have someone stamp on your face. It happens very, very rarely in football and I had to come off straight away, there was a lot of blood and that’s all I remember.”

Was it a deliberate stamp in your opinion?

“He texted me straight away after the game to apologise when I hadn’t had time to look at the video.

“I will not say he did it on purpose because that’s not my job, it’s somebody else’s. But the only thing I can say 100 per cent, it’s just my opinion, is that he could have avoided that for sure.

“I can understand supporters’ opinion, but I think the best people to judge are the players. We play the game, we know how to fall down and move on the pitch.

“You need to ask some of the players to see what they think. Like I say, I will not say it was on purpose, that is not my job, but 100 per cent he could have avoided what he did.

“I think it’s something he should avoid in the future because football is an aggressive game, I understand that, but that is not being aggressive, it is not football.

“It is not pleasant for kids, I give you an example. My little cousin Facetimed me. He says to his parents ‘oh, I don’t want to play football, I don’t want to be like that.’ I told him, ‘no you must play football, you will not be like that because this is not normal.”

Could have been worse:

“I am very lucky because it was only my nose that was broken, it could have been much worse, it could have been higher and maybe I could be blind and not play again. It could have been other bones or my jaw, so I am happy. But if you want my opinion, yes he could have avoided it 100 per cent.”

Back in training?

“I can’t train properly or do much in the gym because I can’t put pressure on my head. I had five scars, three really big and I have to take care of my broken nose as it’s only a few days since the operation.

“I hope I will be playing soon, maybe with a mask, but this weekend could be too soon. But I am quite tough and I know I will be back soon.

“I was driven wild with the situation. Bad things happen in football, so it makes me angry as this could have been avoided. If I did that to a player and knew I could have avoided it I would feel like, excuse my language, s**t. It’s putting someone’s life in danger, I could be blind.”

Geoff Eltringham’s decision to view the incident as accidental and not to book Mings or even award a foul:

“It’s not up to me to judge, my job is to score goals for Reading and help the team. I thought it should have been a foul or booking.

“I don’t want to criticise the referee, I don’t have the right, but there are people at the FA who can judge these situations.

Local Berkshire:

Nelson Oliveira is helped off the pitch.

“But my main point here is it is something that needs to be avoided. I’m not talking about the referee or what the FA can or can’t do. Everyone has seen it, in Portugal, Spain Brazil, I have received messages from everywhere. They don’t understand how it’s possible for that to happen in a football game.

“When you look at the video you can see he could avoid what he did. The normal movement of his body is your left foot then your right foot in front, so he stops the movement and is looking down and sees my face on the floor. He saw where I was.”

FA's hands are tied:

“What do you think would be done if the same thing had happened to Harry Kane, the main striker for England? How do you think the FA would look at that? Would they say, ‘sorry the referee saw it so there’s nothing we can do. The career of Harry Kane is finished and we will not do anything.

“Will it be the same as that? It’s a question to ask people, people in television who commentate on football. Football is to enjoy, to make fans happy, as well as a business. But nobody enjoyed that, it hurts because it is bad.

“As an example to the kids in this country who dream of being football players, these kind of things need to be avoided the FA need to take care of these situations. England is well known for fair play, where coaches say hello before and after the game, it’s really big over here. But let’s be honest that is not fair play.

“It’s not my job to say it was on purpose or the referee made a bad decision, I do not want to get involved in that. But the FA, the EFL or whoever need to look at that. In my country in Portugal they would look at it, for sure. I never remember that happening in Portugal in the last 100 years.

“They should look at it not to get justice because I don’t care about that, but to set an example to the kids of this country who want to play for England or the big clubs.

“This is not a good example for them. I would not like my son to play in England and need to finish playing because someone stamped on his face when it could have been avoided.

“If it happened to Harry Kane or Raheem Sterling or an England international player, what should have been done? It’s a question for others to analyse.”

Looking ahead:

“My focus is to be back as quick as I can and scoring goals. I don’t really care about this injury, I could have been much worse, I could be blind when I just broke my nose. It’s not good but I will be fine in a week or so.

“The main thing is this happened. I have seen UFC fighters finish a fight better looking than me. I was only playing football.”

When Tyrone Mings stamped on Ztalan Ibrahimovic’s head: “Someone asked me after the game if I had been in trouble with him (Mings) during the game, but no.

“However, he did it before to another player not a long time ago. There are players who never stamp on someone’s face during their whole career. This player, accidentally I don’t know, has stamped on the face of two players in the last two or three years.

“The FA or EFL need to look at that and ask ex-players like Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher who have played football. Put the question on television, do they think it was on purpose or could he (Mings) have avoided it? They are the best guys to judge.

“With all respect you can’t ask the guy in the shop if it was on purpose, maybe he is an Aston Villa fan. We play football, we know how to fall to the ground. When I went down in the Villa area there was contact. It was not a penalty but I did not dive.

“I don’t remember Mings coming over to speak to me, I had had no stress with him during the game apart from the stamp. I don’t remember the referee having to separate us, nothing. It was just his behaviour and somebody needs to look at that.”

Former Reading striker Dave Kitson suggested Tyrone Mings deserved a 10 game ban:

“It is not my job, I cannot say he should have 10 or 30 games, I do not know. The only thing I know is someone should look at it.

“There is more money in football in England than anywhere. I have played in Spain, Portugal and France and there is nothing like England. Players want to come here because football is really good and because of the industry with big clubs big fans, everything is big. So you need to treat everything big and if something bad happens you need to deal with it, not just push it away.

“Imagine your club buys a player and after 30 minutes someone stamps on his face and he doesn’t play again. Is that good for your club or the industry? No.

“I have played against aggressive players like Bruno Alves the central defender. No one was more aggressive than him, but it was about the ball. He hits your body but I don’t care, it’s alright. I am the first one to say, well done.

“I think Tyrone Mings is a good defender, he is strong and quick, but what he did was not good. That is not being aggressive.”


Surprised when the referee didn’t pull up Tyrone Mings:

“I thought when I turned it should have been a foul, then he grabbed me and then there was blood everywhere. I understand the FA couldn’t do anything when the referee saw it, but in life there are exceptions for everything.

“There are rules but exceptions when something is so serious or big that you can look past the rules. I understand what the FA is saying that the referee saw it, but surely they need to look at this because it is not normal.”

Honesty is the best policy:

“Sometimes people are afraid to be honest or to say what they think. I believe when you pretend not to see something and to be honest, then something else happens in your life and you think: ‘oh, I wish I’d been honest.’ I’m a big believer in that.

“My main focus apart from being ready to play is tot avoid this happening again in the future. When there is something in your behaviour that is not right you need to take it out because it is dangerous.

“In the last game it was me, in the next game it could be someone else and could be worse.

“The people at the top at the FA and EFL in a country well known for fair play where Jose Mourinho is punished a lot for these things because here it is so important. Therefore you need to deal with all situations involving fair play, not only when it is good for you or when it happens to a player from your club.

“The Championship is one of the best leagues in Europe, but even if it happened in a Sunday League game it should be taken care of, it shouldn’t happen.

“Tyrone Mings got five games for the Zlatan foul. Which was worse, that one or mine? It’s not for me to say what should happen, but people need to start asking these questions.”

How has he settled in since his January move from the Canaries?

“We have a really good squad and good players plus a new coach with a good football mentality. Sometimes it takes time to put everything in place, but I think we are improving.

“The last two games against Bolton and Derby were tough, but we didn’t lose them. We should have beaten Bolton and should have taken four points.

“So I think we are improving and we are in a good place. We have the potential to do much more, but I am confident we will do well.”