Newcastle v Wigan Haidara Incident At Last Sees FA Action Only Thanks To Torres
As usual, the FA only tend to act when they are publicly shamed into changing rules, even when 99% of football fans think their rules are idiotic.
Like many of you, the image of Wigan’s Callum McManaman’s assault on Massadio Haidara is one that is hard to get out of your head despite it happening last season.
The horrific challenge was bad enough but then Newcastle didn’t even get a free-kick and worst of all, the FA claimed afterwards that because the linesman had partially seen the incident they couldn’t do anything!
Happily McManaman ended up relegated along with his club, though at the time he played a key part in Wigan’s win that day when he should have been red carded and at the time Newcastle were in the middle of a relegation fight. Plus of course he is now the proud holder of an FA Cup winners medal thanks to no ban imposed, who says crime doesn’t pay!
The FA took no action despite widespread calls for change in the summer and it has now taken the high profile case of Fernando Torres scratching Jan Vertonghen’s face for the authorities to act.
While I’m happy that at last things have changed, it is laughable that Haidara’s career could have been ended and nothing is done, while Torres does some girly scratching and the FA get running for the rulebook.
So, as from November 22nd, all divisions down as far as the Conference will see new rules introduced for retrospective punishment, with players involved in acts of violent conduct and/or off the ball incidents can be punished now, even when a match official has already ruled on it during the match.
New rules introduced by the English Football Association leave players more likely to face retrospective punishment.
FA Director of Governance Darren Bailey;
“This enables the FA to consider acts of violent conduct, like an elbow or a stamp, which have occurred after a challenge for the ball of coming together of players.
“It’s sometimes difficult for officials to see such incidents, as they are often concentrating solely on the challenge for possession of the ball, and we are mindful of that.
“Also, where off the ball incidents are concerned, the policy adjustment will allow action to be taken where an act of misconduct could not have been seen by the match officials, even though they may have seen some part of the players coming together.
“This is an important step forward for the game and provides an appropriate level of discretion for the FA to consider action.
However, we remain of the view that the best outcome for all is that referees are able to make correct judgements on the day to benefit the teams involved.”
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