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FA Respond To Swear Watch Complaint

Dear Scott,

Thank you for contacting the Football Association.

The FA takes a dim view of any foul and abusive language used at football matches. The clear distinction to be made in the Wayne Rooney case is that the language used was directed specifically at a television camera lens, whilst clearly audible to the viewing public. We will always take a view on every incident reported to us by match officials, who also have the ability to apply Law 12 in relation to insulting and abusive language or gestures.

The FA values the opinions of football supporters and we thank you for getting in touch with us to share your views.

Best wishes,
John

Dear John,

Can you refer me to the part of the Law which states anything about a television camera lens?

Over the weekend, there were 10 different players guilty of using “abusive language” in the Premier League. Not a single one of them was booked, let alone sent off, as the FA claim they should be and as Lee Mason claimed he would have done had he heard the swearing.

Like with Rooney, will the FA be using video evidence to ban these ten players for two games? If not, are there any repercussions for the referees that failed to send off the players who were “using absuive language” over the weekend?

Thanks,
Scott

To get in touch with the FA you must first register as a fan. Then you can contact them using this contact form.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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154 Comments

  1. RedMist says:

    Sent this to the FA this morning. Will no doubt go unanswered like most of our contact with that shower of shit…..

    Was just wondering where in the rules of the game does it make the distinction between “using foul and abusive language” towards an official, a team mate, an opponent or the crowd at large and a television camera?
    Every weekend we as sensitive, sheltered fans of football are exposed to players and managers using “foul and abusive language” at various times during a game. After a goal is scored, 9 times out of ten you can hear someone in the back ground rolling out phrases like “F***ing Yes!” or “F***ing get in!”. Often clearly audible, often these words are easily lip read. Surely the “respect” campaign is serious enough to see that there is no distinction when it comes to offending people or disrespecting the game, between audible foul language and lip read foul language. An inaudible V sign accompanied by a clearly lip readable “F**k off!!” directed at the referee’s face a la Steven Gerrad last season, is a clear slap in the face for your beloved “respect” campaign, but on that occasion you chose to do nothing. Surely shooting a colleague at work brings into question matters of “respect”, you also chose to ignore that particular issue too. As well as the many obvious verbal insults that were exchanged at games this weekend which also went unpunished.
    Does the “respect” campaign not stretch as far as protecting the sensibilities of those football fans who are hard of hearing and rely on lip reading to read the world around them? Does it not stretch as far as protecting those of us who are simply capable of lip reading a mono syllabic insult hurled at referees and opponents?
    Or, does the “respect” campaign specifically target Manchester United players and staff?
    You claim to be protectors of the game, and yet you pick and choose which of the “foul and abusive language” you are going to stamp out. At the moment it seems fine to swear at referees, linesmen, fans, opponents as long as isn’t directed down a camera. Not a particularly thorough way of stamping out offensive behaviour within the game i’m sure you’ll agree.
    You either tackle it all, and deal with each case the same way, or you do nothing and leave the game alone. At the moment it just looks like your using the “Respect” campaign as a tool to shape the outcome of domestic competition, with no real motivation to tackle the issue of “foul and abusive language”, or disrespectful behaviour on a larger level.
    Yours,
    A Confused football fan,

  2. Giles Oakley says:

    Brilliant letter, Red Mist! I think you speak for us all with that one. Well done.

  3. NijerianRed says:

    I sent this to the FA today:

    “I would like to state that i sense a consistent high handedness and witch hunting from the FA towards Manchester United and its players in disciplinary issues. Wayne Rooney was given a 2 match ban for using a foul language which i totally agree he should not be doing in the first place. However, no other player in the EPL has been banned for the same offence or charged, even when it has been caught on camera whether directly or from a wide angle. The FA rule does not specifically state a player will be charged for swearing directly into a camera so Rooney’s case should not be treated as an exception unless there is some other reason that is yet to be released to the public. On the other hand, the camera man encroached into Rooney’s celebration space and not Rooney running directly to the camera so we cannot conclusively say Rooney deliberately swore into the camera. If one rule should apply to Wayne Rooney and Manchester United, then it should apply to every player and team in the EPL. I would like to state that the EPL has a very wide appeal worldwide and specifically my country Nigeria where public opinion is for the Nigerian FA to learn from the English FA as a perfect role model. It is rather disheartening when there is a feeling of lack of transparency in the way the English FA handles its business which will in turn put its credibility at stake. I hope the English FA will take my comments into consideration and make amends so as to restore the integrity and trust that initially endeared fans worldwide to the EPL.”

    It seems they have an automated response on this issue. This is their reply below:

    “Thank you for contacting The Football Association.
    The FA takes a dim view of any foul and abusive language used at football matches. The clear distinction to be made in the Wayne Rooney case is that the language used was directed specifically at a television camera lens, whilst clearly audible to the viewing public. We will always take a view on every incident reported to us by match officials, who also have the ability to apply Law 12 in relation to insulting and abusive language or gestures.
    The FA values the opinions of football supporters and we thank you for getting in touch with us to share your views.”

    I hope they choke on their beef when we win our 19th!!!!!!

  4. RedMist says:

    Hehe, Thank you Giles.
    It’s great to see such a solid stance being taken by us fans on this issue.
    Keep it up boys, and girls.
    Don’t let them off the hook.
    :)

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