Yesterday saw yet more evidence of the FA and their lack of ability to get the basic decisions correct. This season has seen the Luiz Suarez affair handled all wrong, even if in some quarters the right result was reached. The discrepancies in that scenario were how the whole case was carried out. Then we reached the John Terry affair. That isn’t a metaphor for him and another players wife. Of course I’m referring to the Terry vs Anton Ferdinand race row which the FA bravely and conveniently put off until after the Euro’s. The thinking behind this I can only assume was to keep a player undeserving of his stature as England captain, in that very position.
That fiasco saw the end of Fabio Capello after the FA refused to bow down to his demands and we eventually thought the FA finally had some balls. But we were wrong. They bungled their way around appointing a successor by refusing to name or approach the man they wanted and leaving a prime candidate in the middle of a media frenzy. So just what is the FA’s latest show of weakness. Well firstly not handing out a retrospective additional ban for Mario Balotelli’s shameful tackle on Alex Song during the match between Arsenal and Manchester City. Anyone with a degree of common sense saw just how much damage such a tackle could have left the young Arsenal star.
It was the FA’s chance to make an example not of the player but of the challenge. The FA also bottled the decision not to reduce Shaun Derry’s red card which he received for his ‘foul’ on Ashley Young. The fact that Young was offside, that contact was minimal wasn’t enough to persuade the FA to reduce the one match ban. Now I am not going to slate the referees. Early in the season I wrote an article not blaming referees but their assistants. The Young decision started from a linesman error. What about the 2 Chelsea goals in the Wigan match. Or the QPR goal that never was.
The referees are stuck in the firing line when it is their so called assistants that are causing the problems. These are not marginal calls like the 1966 World Cup final. They are clear to the naked eye. So we go back to the FA. There is not a match in England that is not covered by some form of broadcaster. Therefore there is a camera at nigh on every match. In my view the FA needs to show some balls and introduce a referral system. Each team gets say 1 referral to an official with replay facilities. Whether he is in the stadium or outside in a broadcast truck but you don’t physically see the third umpire in cricket yet you see his decisions. As long as you limit the amount of time the referrals take is it really going to slow the game up to much. When you have matches that have 6 or 7 minutes of injury time as it is.
So I call upon the FA to for once to show some spine, show us the FA have balls and make our FA an association to be proud of once again. Try test runs in next seasons Carling Cup. One video referral per side with a limit of say a minute to 2 minutes. The equipment is in place, it only needs a man, a TV screen and a replay or two.
Written by Wesley Hillier @armchairstato.blogspot.com.
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