By Tony Attwood
The FA, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, have decided, very late in the day, to introduce the possibility of retrospective suspensions for players who dive or feign injury. The maximum punishment would be a two-match ban, with the arrangement starting next season. It is the copy of a punishment already in force in Scotland having been brought in, in 2011.
The FA will have one of its famous “panels” which will be made up of an ex-manager, an ex-player and an ex-referee, thus leaving it open for the ex-referees to be made up from our list of bête noires. With just three people there and a chummy Monday afternoon atmosphere after a rather jolly lunch at the FA’s (ie the taxpayers’) expense, the possibility for corruption is of course huge.
True there has to be a unanimous decision, which looks good, but all that means is the referee has all the power. He is the one who apparently “knows” the rules and so will influence the others, blocking any decision that goes against any of the PGMO favourites.
The FA’s official line is that, “Although attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled is a cautionable offence for unsporting behaviour, the fact that the act of simulation has succeeded in deceiving a match official and, therefore, led to a penalty and/or dismissal, justifies a more severe penalty which would act as a deterrent.”
Where a player admits the charge or is found guilty by the Star Chamber, any card given to a member of the opposition – as with Gabriel at Chelsea, is rescinded.
Rather surprisingly the first person to realise that this was another FA con-trick was Sam Allardyce, not normally known as a respecter of rules. He said “Bring technology in, let us look at it on the day, and then bring a sin-bin in so we can put him in that for 10 minutes and then put him back on. Stop paying all these people money to do rubbish situations in the game. That’s utter rubbish.”
The Rangers winger Sone Aluko, was the first to be punished in Scotland in December 2011 – which shows how rarely the process is used there – one punishment in five months. The current rate of punishment in Scotland is three players a season.
The move however is most likely being introduced simply to cover up the latest disaster in the attempts by the FA to sort out is own mess and muddle. The history of the FA – ranging from destroying women’s football by refusing permission for women’s games to be played on the same pitches as were used for men’s games on 5 December 1921, through to having grants for grass roots improvements to football removed by Sports England because they were used for other purposes – is littered with appalling behaviour.
So the lack of activity in the areas that matter – such as the introduction of video referees – is naturally covered up by a press release claiming “The FA has also agreed to implement the most radical reforms”. In fact they had to do this as otherwise the government in England might have been ready to remove its grant of taxpayers’ money.
Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv
These amazing and great reforms include reducing the board from 12 members to 10, and having three seats reserved for women. And that’s mostly it. They even have the nerve to say that reducing the board from 12 to 10 is streamlining. The pathetic media in this country have lapped this up and repeat the notion using that self-same word.
There is also the usual mindless reiteration of gibberish such as “Good corporate governance is essential for any successful organisation and these new reforms have the interests of football at their core. They will benefit all of English football….Our aim is to make English football for all and a more inclusive and diverse game.”
Elsewhere 11 new members will be added to the FA council, so streamline one way, add to the confusion the other.
Here’s another jolly change…
Council members will have to be actively involved in the organisations they represent. Can you imagine an organisation that is so screwed that it has to introduce such a rule? But the multiple special interest groups remain.
As a result of this magnificent change, the appalling FA will get £30m in lottery money from Sport England for grassroots programmes, (and then claim the weather was too bad for it to be able to improve facilities so they spent it on a new carpark and a rest room for chauffeurs.)
The sports minister, Tracey Crouch, will now become the 11th sports minister in succession to threaten to reform the FA by law and not do so. The vote of no-confidence in the FA passed in Parliament will now be ignored.
Meanwhile the FA reforms were criticised by Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, who call them “pathetic” and a “sham” noting that each sports governing body is only asked to “demonstrate a strong and public commitment to progressing towards achieving gender parity and greater diversity generally on its board, including, but not limited to, Black, Asian, minority ethnic diversity, and disability”.
That there is no mass uprising shouting “off with their heads” descending on Wembley is a little disappointing but I suppose to be expected.
- From bookies to journalists, everyone wants to treat football fans just like Trump treats his electorate
- How the PGMO could try to get around the use of video assistance for referees
- The curious case of the wrath of penalty Gods on Arsenal!
- Arsenal Transfer Index Edition 6. 39 players joining the club; 13 players leaving.