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Haidara Incident – Letter To The FA

8 years ago

FA Disciplinary Committee

Wembley Stadium
PO Box 1966

19th March 2013

Dear Sir,


Re: Wigan v Newcastle

I have just read that your organization has decided to take no further action against the Wigan ‘player’ who caused such a horrible injury to the young Newcastle player Haidara at the weekend.

I am used to the ‘controversy’ that football likes to immerse itself in, but have never felt moved to write to you to register my disgust at such a shocking lack of moral acceptance to punish what was perhaps the worst challenge I have ever seen at a football match in my middle aged memory.

Having seen numerous instances of retrospective punishment meted out for sometimes innocuous or petty incidents (Cabaye versus Brighton FA Cup 2012, trial by Ray Stubbs on ESPN for example), it is an absolute joke that as an organization the FA seems happy to hide behind a minute clause to avoid taking the action that almost universally is deemed appropriate for the challenge.

What sort of a message does that send out to other players or indeed how does it reflect on the abilities of all of the officials in that match?

Whilst we do not have TV replay in matches, on Sunday Haidara lay on the pitch for 6 minutes, clearly in distress (ie he had not taken a dive – his cry of pain as he was scythed down was evidence enough of that!), while we at home watched the incident numerous times on SKY TV.

It is well known that the 4th official generally can see a screen in the tunnel, and I am dumbfounded that he could not advise Halsey (who could equally have asked for clarification as he had allegedly not seen the incident) of the facts. Remember he had 6 minutes to do so.

Halsey even missed the booking for deliberate handball by the same player that led to the free kick that resumed play! It is a well used phrase, but the officials’ decision making was disgusting, and is now compounded by the FA’s diabolical decision.

I hope Haidara, a very talented young player, recovers in full, and that he sees fit to pursue the Wigan player for civil damages in the way Victor Anichebe did to Kevin Nolan.

As for the FA, you should be utterly ashamed at your performance in this matter. It is really simple sometimes – it’s just a question of doing what is right – that is justice.

David Walton



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