Analysis Opinion Insight

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Systemic Failure

Going into the weekend Sir Alex made some salient points in regards to the dysfunctional nature of the FA's decision review system, and its inconsistant and mostly baffling procedures. Evra got 4 games for an out of game fracas, Ferdinand  fairly got 3 games for a wayward elbow in an off the ball incident, but inexcusably, Mascherano escaped punishment for a similar deliberate elbow-ing, and last week against Portsmouth, Steven-V-man-Gerrard, escaped punishment for an attack to the head that could yet land him in jail if the victim, Micheal Brown, wishes to press charges. The victim, notorious for not being the cleanest of players himself, played down the incident, but stressed that had the roles been reversed, that he would no doubt have been facing a three-match ban.

This vindicates Sir Alex's point, the FA's post match decision panel has a bias, inconsistency and irregularity that players have come to accept, but that does not mean it is acceptable. The first problem, is that the post match panel can only take on a matter if it has been missed by the officiating  referee during the game, and only if, had he had seen it, would've taken some action. The post-match analysis panel needs to operate independently, to take into account what the ref did or did not do, but not limit itself to dealing with actions that that were not dealt with properly by the referees.

Steven Gerrard should have gotten a three match ban for his dangerous elbow,  not to mention a fine for bringing the game into disrepute for his "V" sign to the ref. Fernando Torres should've gotten a yellow card for his cynical, unsporting behaviour, which included the petulant scuffing of the penalty spot before Rooney's spot kick attempt, his protestation that he did not foul Park, including his futile attempt at convincing the ref that Park dived, not to mention his dangerous trailing leg flick/kick at van der Sar. Although he did end up collecting a yellow card later on, the Post match analysis team should be able to hand out fines, suspensions, and most importantly, yellow cards. Although it may seem relatively pointless as a deterent, don't forget, that one or more yellow cards assigned post-game for unseen incidents, can quickly push a player past the 5/10 barrier that can see him miss 3 games.

Hopefully, the resignation of the Ian Whatmore, will lead the FA, the Premier League and their respective "big wigs" to see clearly and act in the best interests of the game.For far too long the governors of football have let the game stagnate, justice has no recourse, and until technology is embraced, in its multiple, and truly wonderful forms, the flair players will continue to head to Spain and Italy in search of fair football.

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