When I saw the “challenge” Wayne Rooney had received his straight red card for in the Amsterdam Tournament, I laughed. “Innocuous” Ferguson branded it. “Unbelievable” said Rooney. Utterly ridiculous decision, but never mind. We had the tournament in the bag, so didn’t really think twice about it. When it was said Rooney could have a three match ban, again, I laughed it off. “You think common sense will prevail, and fairness,” Ferguson thought. Ok, so I’m not exactly the FA’s biggest fan, but I thought it was even beyond them to uphold this ban.
A week later when I heard Rooney’s ban had been upheld, I thought it was a joke. How could anyone watch the footage of that incident and even deem it a free kick is beyond me, unless it for United for that Porto player’s play acting!
Then Ferguson announces that the FA told him “nothing was going to happen to Wayne”, and without any further discussion with Ferguson, went back on that. When Simon Hawes of United Rant wrote to the FA, their response claimed that they had no control over whether Rooney’s ban should stay or not. Their decision was based upon the ruling of an independent commission, a board of people who the FA themselves elected. Their ruling, however, was not based upon anything fair or right, or in the interest of good football. It didn’t take the FA long to jump on the victimise Rooney band wagon did it?
So we skip forward a couple of weeks, and the Premiership season starts, and we’re battering Fulham. And Ryan Giggs and Michael Brown are challenging for the ball, and Brown stamps on Giggs’ knee. Clearly the referee bases his decision of a yellow card on the reaction by Giggs, and not on the incident itself. Had the referee seen the incident, he would have had no choice but to send him off, for a disgraceful challenge, “for a vicious lunge”. But due to FIFA rules, enforced by the FA, because the referee dealt with the incident at the time, nothing can be done about it now. A ridiculous rule, which seems to put across the idea that referees are infallible, which is obviously not the case. Nothing is lost by video replay showing a player to have wrongly or rightly been sent off, or a player committing a challenge that goes unnoticed by the referee. But the FA have to stick to the rules, right? Wrong.
Anyone with half a brain could watch the footage of that thug Ben Thatcher taking Mendes out of the game on Wednesday, and agree that he deserves a red card, a lengthy ban, and prison time! Disgusting behaviour, brought out of nowhere, showing the City player to be someone no true fan would want anywhere near the game of football. The referee handed out a yellow card, as, just like the Giggs vs. Brown incident, he obviously didn’t have a good view of what had happened. If only it wasn’t for that pesky rule that the FA feel like they have to enforce. Oh no wait, it seems they only sometimes have to enforce it. Where they draw the line, who knows, but today it’s been announced that the FA has charged Thatcher.
Now, of course, the more animals like Thatcher we see suspended (and kicked out of the game, if possible) the better. But it makes the FA’s position very hazy. Can they break the rules, or can’t they? Who can they break the rules for, and who can’t they break them for? Does the assaulted player have to be knocked unconscious? Have a seizure? Does a good old fashioned stamp on the knee warrant no further punishment than a pathetic yellow card? Apparently not.
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