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Overseas leagues way ahead of England when it comes to dealing with career ending tackles

By Walter Broeckx

We all remember what happened after the criminal assaults on Arsenal players. Taylor on Eduardo, that Sunderland man on Diaby, not that kind of boy Shawcross on Ramsey.

And there were others like the ones who broke other Arsenal players their legs didn’t even get a red card. Because those great refs couldn’t even recognise a serious and reckless challenge it it hit them on the nose. But the assaulters of Eduardo, Diaby and Ramsey got a ban.

The person who killed the career of Eduardo got a ban of 3 games.  And don’t tell me that Eduardo is back playing football. Eduardo was a shadow of the player he was before. Technically back to his level yes. But even a blind man could see that he backed out of tackles. You could see his brain freezing 1/10th of a second when a foot came in. And you could see him losing his touch.

Now let us look at how other countries deal with people how commit such horrible tackles and cause terrible injuries.

In Belgium we had Witsel who caused a terrible injury on Polish international Wasilewski. He got a punishment of 8 games. First it was 10 games but then when he appealed they reduced it to 8 games. Appealing such a punishment alone is an example of bad taste but at least one could say that Witsel had time enough to think about his actions.

I think this was a punishment that showed the players, not only him, that the Belgian football federation would not tolerate such terrible tackles. And I must say that since then referees in the Jupiler league has been quick to get a red card out when dangerous or reckless tackles are made. Even when no contact with the player is made.

So how does the French league acts? Well only recently a player of St. Ettiene got his leg kicked to pieces by a reckless challenge from Nice player Valentin Evsseric. As a result he suffered a double open fracture of his leg and will be out for at least 5 months. If you like blood and bloody tackles you can see the images on You Tube. Another example of the frontal tackle and how dangerous it is and why it should be banned and should be stopped with red cards.

I have said it time and time again a frontal tackle is the same as a frontal collision with a car and believe me that is the last kind of collision you want to experience. It probably could be the last one you do experience. For many a footballer it is the last tackle in their career. And I’m talking from experience. I have said it before and will repeat it again and again: refs are too lax when it comes to this kind of tackles.

And don’t come saying that it is a man’s game or more of this nonsense. Nowhere is it written in the laws of the game that we should accept people getting injured by making dangerous tackles. Cage fighting might be more appropriate if you want to see blood. Football not.  But let us move back to the French League and how they reacted to this tackle.

Because the French league has taken action and has banned Nice player Evsseric for 11 games and as a result his season is over. One could say that both players (victim and assaulter) will be out for the same period of time. And the best thing of this verdict is that Nice the club of Evsseric has said that they will not appeal this sentence and accept the punishment without moaning about it. Nice is currently in 5th position in the league and it is fighting for a place in the Europa League and only 4 points behind 3rd place and a possible Champions League spot.

And yet Nice accepted the punishment. Despite that it will harm their chances of winning a Champions League spot. I must say that this reaction is something that needs to be applauded. One of their players committed a serious “crime” and the club accepts the consequences.  That really is a rarity in top football these days.

I think it is time to follow the example set out by the French and Belgian Leagues.  Maybe it will help players using their head before committing themselves in dangerous and career ending tackles.

Maybe it is time to make a difference when sentencing players. You made a criminal tackle and got a red card but the player comes out without injury: the usual 3 weeks ban. But when you made a criminal tackle and the other player has an injury the assaulting player should be banned for more games. I think when you cause an injury a minimum ban of 10 weeks should be possible. And even longer when the victim might be out for more than one season.

It sure will give the assaulter some time to think about his  responsibility on a football field. And maybe it will make them think twice before launching a dangerous attack on an opponent.

I think supporting a club that has on average more than one player carried of with some kind of broken leg or foot has a right to say that something should be done about it. Accidents can happen. Sometimes a leg is broken where nobody really can do much about it. But in cases when shocking tackles are made we should be strict and firm in dealing with them.

No sympathy for the ones who did it. But sympathy for the victims. Lets follow the French League on this.

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31 comments to Overseas leagues way ahead of England when it comes to dealing with career ending tackles

  • Stuart

    Walter,
    The laws of the game certainly do not go far enough on this matter.

    Injuries aside, another problem is that whilst a player is out for 9 months recovering from a double leg fracture and re-training back to the previous level of fitness, the offending player has been back on the pitch helping their team.

    The trouble is the managers and players know this and realise they ave much more to gain than they would lose from getting a 5 match ban as the victim is out for 38 games.

    The punishment needs to go further and say that if you break a players limb when making a challenge, you are banned for the duration of the victims recovery period plus an extra 10 games. You can bet they wont happen again.

  • Passenal

    Excellent point. Sadly it will never happen here with the Neanderthal pundits we have preaching incorrect interpretation of the rules to the masses and the culture of OTT tackling seen as just part of a ‘ man’s game’ . Not to mention more sympathy for the perpetrator than the victim as we have seen time and again.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hmmmm think if one of these tackles happened to Rooney or bale we would see a very robust response . Unfortunately jack gets no protection at all it is like refs have over time got used to going into a different mode when we play

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sorry should have added vp to the above list as he is now

  • God forbid but if only it happens to Gigs we will get it done there and then. As you guys know lord Furgus owns the premier ,league he will do everything that is under the sun to ban that player for ages. If he can do it to the referees what about mere player. I pity the ref of today’s match because he already knows what to do, make furgus and his oldtoilet fanatics happy let them forget how the best team showed them that they have no place with the best.

  • Rufusstan

    Walter– Got a question based on this: I was watching Everton’s Cup game yesterday. I only had it on as Ryo looked like getting a run out after being injured for something like 4 months.

    Anyway he came on as a sub, 30 minutes later gets taken out by Mirallas in a sliding challenge. He gets the ball then follows through on Ryo, knocking him up in the air and dumping him off the pitch. No foul called and Ryo stretchered off.

    The challenge is barely mentioned afterwards and if it is, it gets the classic ‘crunching’ or ‘full blooded’ tag. I have been trying to find video of it, but cannot see it anywhere.

    The question I guess is how much does getting the ball give you a blank check for what happens next? I’m aware that it could easily be me being oversensitive because of incidents like those above. Equally 20 years ago, no one would have blinked at the challenge (seemingly no one did).

    I know its hard to judge things without seeing it. I also am certainly not one for making football non-contact, but more about where you draw the line, and is the line in the same place everywhere.

    By the way Walter, I don’t know if you missed it out deliberately or not; but Dan Smith. Funny how a name gets eternally burned into your brain after watching him maim Diaby.

  • AL

    The punishments handed out to leg breakers in this league are not even a deterrent. Imagine if, as Stuart suggested, Keane knew he’d be out for as long as Alf would be he’d have gone ahead and made that tackle? Players are knowingly going out to hurt others knowing at worst they’ll get 3 wks out of the team as punishment. More needs to be done. This is something every manager or club should be happy with as it could be their player on the receiving end of a leg breaking tackle, unless of course if some managers tell their players to hurt others, then in that case they wouldn’t be happy.

  • SouthernGunner

    Something you touched on in this article that hardly gets mentioned is the psychological affect such an injury can have on players. That in itself is almost like a “second injury” that the player has to deal with, alongside the physical one. I’m wondering if any help along these lines are part of a players rehabilitation treatment?

    Of the many players at different clubs who’ve suffered very bad injuries, a good ratio of them don’t seem to be the same afterwards. That’s never a good thing to see, irrespective of the shirt they wear.

  • So as i told all the sewer rats that if they can bet that we wont be in the champions league let them bet i have seen no rat sewer betting. The treble would be furgus is leaking his butt as Chelsea is on his ass.

  • Sammy The Snake

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Liverpool for their result against Sp////rs today. Now our boys need to make sure they do their part.

  • 0kay Mancity or Chelsea are to take the FA!!Or Wigan?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Rufusstan,
    I also watched the Wigan game and thought that the ‘tackle’ on Ryo was a potential leg breaker. It certainly was out of control and seemed to show excessive force. I fear for Ryo’s future as he has had a series of serious injuries. The incident was very reminiscent of the challenge that broke Sagna’s leg at Spurs. Of course as an Arsenal player was involved (and an overseas player at that) it couldn’t possibly have been anything other than an innocent coming together.

    Seriously UEFA or someone needs to look at the different approaches taken by referees and come up with binding guidelines, or at the very least remove officials who interpret the rules in too lenient a manner from refereeing in competitions held in their name. That might hurt referees in the pocket or status; always a good incentive in my experience.

  • Linz

    So when Diaby broke Nasri’s leg in pre season training with what by all accounts was a shocker,should he have received a ten match ban?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Andrew Crawshaw and Rufusstan

    Watched the tackle on Ryo. The ball was running out of play, Ryo saw that he was either not going to get the ball or the slide was going to beat him to either the ball or impede him so he pulled up. Then, the slide took him out. It was so close to the touchline that Ryo ended up a twice the width of the linesman’s running path out of bounds. There was almost no comment about the tackle from the commentators. Pathetic really, nothing was given. He was stretchered out of the playing area. And, another Arsenal player crocked.

  • Gord

    I think the banning rules need to be changed. Regardless of what level of football you play, if you even give a foul which results in the injury of the person receiving the foul, you cannot resume play for your (or any) team until the person you fouled is either named as starting for a game, or is brought in as a substitute.

    Seeing as I am in the mood to instruct the IFAB, a team needs to score at least one goal in a game to get points. This only affects 0-0 ties. Currently, both teams receive 1 point. I would prefer that neither team receive a point. If you can’t find the opponents goal, you might as well have stayed at home and not played. This might have a slight effect against “park the bus”, but is not designed for that.

    Matchday 28 had complete results, and it looks like we may not see complete results again until matchday 37 or 38. I have all of the data to the conclusion of matchday 28 entered into a perl program. The program is intended to do Monte Carlo studies on the season so far (or actually, up to 1 week ago).

    If I was to submit an article to UntoldArsenal outlining how this program is structured, would some people who are regulars (Adam comes to mind, but there are other Untold regulars who seem to be analytical) or are analytical want to contribute? The end program should come out as some “free” license (as I am writing in Perl, the default is the recipient’s choice of the GPL or the Artistic License). But, documentation is needed for any program, and my preference is Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    CC BY-NC-SA. And I think this is contrary to what Untold Arsenal has for articles (documentation is either an article, or a comment on an article).

    UntoldArsenal seems to want to show that the results of games are not entirely left to chance. Setting up a framework to simulate a season, may be a means to do this. To run “simulated seasons” 10,000 times should allow one to specify variables from the simulation on the order of 1%.

    What I have almost written, only looks at the scores of games, and in some stuff just added, looks at home/away a little.

    Having played statistical and numerical games for a long time, I am starting from stuff that feels right to me. Which doesn’t mean it is correct. But, it may be possible to use simulation results to show that some results are unlikely. As the program is currently structured, finding unusual results per team is more likely than finding unusual result per game.

    Why write this? The “news” that buyers with lots of money wanted to buy Arsenal, bothered me a lot. If all the teams who could compete for Champions league, or league titles are all owned by people with deep pockets, I think UEFA, FIFA, TheFA, and the rest are powerless. Which is my guess as to why the rumours came up. I have no ability to judge whether those rumours are reasonable or not.

    But, if UntoldArsenal are interested in “developing” a thread which has GPL/Artistic and Creative Commons output (ideally), that would be the place to expand on things.

    It was nice to see Liverpool beat Spurs, and for ManU and Chelsea to go to replay. today.

  • Dominic

    Disagree with you about the person responsible for Eduardo’s injury getting a 3 match ban. As far as I am aware “Eck” continued to “manage” Birmingham until fired for incompetence. He was the man responsible for his players getting stuck in and yet suffered no punishment.

  • nicky

    In my view, the type of tackles(or more correctly “assaults”) presently described on this site, should not be subject to punishment by football associations.
    They are grave criminal assaults and should be dealt with by the full force of the law.
    I cannot forget the appalling assault on Man City’s Alf-Hing by Roy Keane, one of football’s biggest thugs, who should have served a prison term as well as being banned from football for life.

  • bob

    Walter,
    Great job, this game is not gladiatorial combat and those who demand it is had best go to cage fighting or extreme rugby or anger management class and file down their claws and incisors.

    I do give you a yellow, however, for one non-call: Bacary Sagna.
    How many broken legs must a guy, this guy, tolerate in this league in service to AFC to get regular recognition? Or, my fear is he now starting to be “erased” from UA history – because he’s getting near his AFC “sell-by date” and UA won’t get out there ahead of the club to advocate that he stays or goes? Just because there is a problematic negotiation process or period going on should not mean that UA should turn a blind-eye to this player. But, based on recent coverage, UA monitors which way the wind blows on different players, and stays safely within the scope of what the club is doing or not with its “problem” player and refrains from comment until that player is dispatched; or, from further comment (as with Alex Song), after that player (deemed a problem) is sent away. I hope that you will acknowledge Sagna in the appropriate contexts, and will not do a non-comment on his service and potential still, just because he and the bean counters are at odds (at least for now).

    So, you might, at some point, look at the pattern of say Joey Barton and friends attacks on AFC’s African players and now there’s the Ryo saga which will destroy a glowing talent in the making before he has a chance.

    EPL’s level of pitch violence may be part of the unstated business model because it captures an unstated percentage of the paying customers, live and broadcast. But frankly, when I think of players like Cesc leaving after having witnessed the horror of the crimes (twisted, protruding bones, etc.) committed on the pitch to the players you do mention, I cannot blame him for getting out of the EPL altogether — especially as AFC’s “johnny foreigners” have been so targeted and gone so unprotected. (If people don’t get behind this and demand enforcement, we’ll be seeing if there’s a Wilshere moment on some reptilian’s radar. And then it will be all manner of tsk-tsking and moans about how there ougta be a rule.

  • bob

    Dominic,
    According to his wikipedia entry, “eck” was not fired for incompetence but offered to return BC (relegated) to AD (the league) and resigned by email. This creature deserves caging, and as he still crows about defeating AFC as his greatest achievement, any right minded gooner would throw away the key.

  • bob

    Mr. Attwood,
    UA still does not acknowledge that Song (the rumored failure and alleged worst signing) has not been replaced, let alone that he was too valuable not to replace (or let go in the first place). Your nimble skirting around the Unsung Song saga is something to behold. The laundry list of too-many midfielders already did not exactly pan out into adequacy, as our defense sorely, sorely lacks the kind of protection that a hardman and mobile/versatile hardman or other would/could provide. Through no fault of his own, Arteta is not providing this, and Song’s absence has continued to hurt us throughout this season. Where was UA’s voice on this during the January transfer masquerade? Was there no need to be filled? But, then again, Song is now an official (if rumored) failure, so we’re better off for having fooled Barca and (of course) driven them further toward bankruptcy, eh?

  • bob

    p.s. the above was meant for the next posting today and was copied there where it belongs. sorry that I posted it here.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bob,
    I accept my yellow card.

    I could have mentioned others like Gibbs and Cesc…

  • WalterBroeckx

    bob,
    just imagine if Jack his leg gets broken by such an assault and just imagine if the assaulter would be a foreigner…

    The chance of seeing it happen to Rooney is rather small I think. Most teams don’t go in too hard when playing against SAF.

  • Gord

    Comment on statistics. The BBC is running a story about a women’s team from Wales that recently lost 43-0.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-21749312

    That has got to be a long way into the upper tail of the distribution.

  • Domhuail

    Once the foul has been committed, it is lazy hindsight to say the ref should ¨protect¨the players more adequately, etc. What does need to be done and can be done is a stricter adherence to the unwritten dictum of every competent official, protect the players safety before anything else. If an official makes all the ¨right¨calls on offside, goals scored, etc. but allows a game to run away and the temperature to rise, thus encouraging serious and dangerous foul play, retribution and revenge tackles and the like, he or she has failed as an official. Riley’s terrible performance with AFC and Manu that ended not only the unbeaten run but Reyes career at AFC for all intents and purposes serves as a classic textbook example of how to officiate technically but not competently.
    It is the governing bodies responsibility to punish serious foul play, either retroactively or based on the officials report. It is the offending Club’s responsibility to discipline and train their players to avoid suicide tackles and murderous assaults. It is the officials’ responsibility to send a hard and clear message to ¨over-enthusiastic¨ bullies and gangsters that potentially debilitating and kamikaze tackling that clearly is intended to damage the opponent is intolerable and will result in immediate and harsh punishment.
    The EPL has serious double-standard issues, and as the French say, un poid -deux mesures (one weight, two scales). It does seem that certain players are off limits to the gangsters and are ¨protected¨ not only from such assaults but also are allowed to dive at will, cheat and foul almost with impunity. As a former professional referee, it shames me and my ex-profession to see such obvious favouritism and sheltering going on in the EPL. I watched a Bundesliga game recently officiated by a friend I knew in Stuttgart and he handled the fouls, the simulation and the out-of-control occasions with supreme skill…in an EPL game at the same level he’d have been very busy with the cards and the warnings.

  • Man Overboard

    Headline not really backed up by the article. You give examples of 2 ‘overseas leagues’ giving longer bans for bad tackles. Thats hardly the whole of Europe is it? When was the last time we saw a career ending tackle in England. Not Eduardo, or Ramsey, or Diaby. All of these players are still playing and have a continuing career. Eduardo hadn’t hit the heights before his injury so what is to say he was going to if he hadn’t got injured. Same with Ramsey and Diaby. It’s just unfounded speculation, and poor journalism.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I could have given other examples from other countries. But maybe you could give me examples of players in the PL who got a longer ban than the usual 3 games? Because I couldn’t really find them. But I could be wrong of course.

    But Man Overboard will come up with them I think.

  • Stuart

    Man Overboard,
    Eduardo, Ramsey and Diaby injuries were career threatening and should have been dealt with with that in mind. Whether they turned out career ending or not is neither here not there, it’s the potential outcome from the dangerous play that needs to be considered here. Why do you think people get put away for ‘attempted’ murder even though someone never dies.

  • bob

    Walter, readers,
    I haven’t seen the video (have you?), but reports are coming in that Everton’s Mirallas has just put out Ryo Myachi for the season with a most cynical tackle. This after a previous prolonged injury. Is there targeting (messages being sent and re-sent) or is there crocked goods? Let’s have a look and conclude….

  • menace

    The Laws of the Game do not ‘allow’ you to foul after making contact with the ball. The foul is called by the official in charge of the game irrelevant of the ball being present or played for.

    In the EPL the officials are privatised biased cheats. They are driven by money alone and their sporting credentials are non existent….. well I am being unfair. They have been trained to ‘turn a blind eye’ (sometimes both eyes)to incidents that might impact the financial benefits that they are focused on.

    The incidents where a player impacts anothers career must be governed by financial penalties to recompense the injured. The penalties must be realistic and must act as deterrent for others.

    Football is being ruined by poor officiating and by greed.

  • menace

    Longer ban was for Arsenals Davis when he punched a player for reasons that have never been made public.