The FA never like to make their job easy, do they? They also have a habit of getting things very wrong. Consistently being inconsistent.
By their definition of crime fitting the punishment if you are Luis Suarez then you are twice the racist that John Terry is. Four games for Terry, eight for Suarez. Suarez committed the offense on 15th October 2011 and was handed his punishment on 20th December. The incident with Terry and Anton Ferdinand was on 23rd October 2011 and the FA didn’t see fit to charge him until 27th September the following year.
Although the token gesture of stripping him of the England national team captaincy got lodged in between then it seemed a clearly weak attempt at getting the public backing on all sides. They may have the balls to say they don’t want him as captain but they can’t remove him with a European Championships coming up. Everybody’s happy, except Fabio Capello.
Ah, I see it now. Wouldn’t be good for the upcoming internationals to have a potentially FA convicted racist in the squad had they acted swiftly. So you’re only a racist when it suits the FA’s agenda?
The latest peculiar development has seen Vincent Kompany’s red card for his challenge at the Emirates on Sunday be rescinded.
Now, I want to make it clear that I am one of the older school of fans who doesn’t mind the odd meaty challenge. Having played amateur football I can safely say that the kind of tackle that goes on at that level would be an eye opener for a category one referee. I thought although Kompany had both feet off the ground that he meant no malice in the challenge. I would be more inclined to side with him on that particular incident. But times have changed and the rules have (or so we were lead to believe).
Cast your mind back to the Manchester derby in the FA Cup from January last year. Kompany was sent off for a challenge on Nani 12 minutes into the game. Two feet were off the ground but the ball was won cleanly. On that occasion the red card was not rescinded. Surely Kompany has to recognise that if you run the risk of tackling with both feet off the ground then you’re liable to be punished. When Mike Dean went into his pocket on Sunday, Kompany must have feared the worst. Given his previous even he must have had suspicions that the red could be on its way out.
It was easy for the FA to back the referee on this occasion. Both feet are off the ground. Had they have stuck to the party line then City & Kompany would have grumbled but would have eventually moved on. We have been told week after week by commentators, pundits, ex-referees, coaches and players that these type of two-footed challenges are being snuffed out the game. They are having to adapt and rightly so. Players are an expensive commodity to clubs and anything that brings down the risk of them receiving potentially career threatening injuries is welcomed with open arms.
So why have the FA now decided to go against the grain? What’s the agenda here? Although not all fans maybe agreed with some of the two-footed calls, at least there was an understanding that this was being phased out. What have the referees been doing all these months now? It’s all for nothing if the FA fold the moment one of the decisions isn’t popular with a club or group of fans. Where do officials go from here? The referees can’t just carry on as normal, sending off players for being reckless and then have the FA overturn a two footer on the basis it seemed harsh. They only serve to contradict each other.
Make the rule and follow it through. Two feet off the ground is red. End of. There is no in between. If everyone knows this, the players, staff and even the fans then there is no cause for argument. What’s so hard about that? Again, I and others certainly may not agree with each one but at least the rule is there.
The FA have now opened the flood gates for further appeals. Any player in future who maybe takes some of the ball but just happens to have come off the ground to get it will be quick to point at Vincent Kompany vs Arsenal. The inconsistency in the FA’s actions towards a few players has been nothing short of perplexing.
They now run the risk of players (especially Vincent Kompany) thinking its okay to go in with two feet and they are now back to square one in my eyes.
The Football Association; one step forward, two-footed step back.