By Tony Attwood
Could the PGMO squad of referees actually be getting something wrong? It is hard to imagine there is much they could get wrong since according to their own figures they are getting 98.5% of all decisions right and VAR would add another 2% to that. (Yes it’s funny, I know, but that’ PGMO, laugh a minute). But the notion that the almighty PGMO might have misunderstood the rule book is pretty hard to take.
Yet it seems that The International FA Board which determines what the laws of football actually are is going to investigate whether PGMO has got it right in its instructions to refs when they say that a goal scored after an accidental handball be not a goal.
It is pretty obvious to anyone who reads the rules that this can’t be the case. The offence of handball is a deliberate act so accidental handball is not an offence, and so the goal has to stand. Could PGMO not understand this? Really? Well, it seems so, according to their ultra-secret instructions given to referees.
IFAB is said to be ready to take them down a peg. IFAB consists of representatives from England, Wales, N Ireland and Scotland (the original three FAs, with the N Ireland rep taking over from “Ireland” who had a seat on the original body prior to the partition of the island into two), plus the rest of the world in the shape of Fifa who have four votes to match the UK’s four. This curious arrangement comes about from the origins of the game – and the fact that in aftermath of the first world war the UK invited the world to join the show.
The first big transformation they made as Ifab came in 1925 when the offside rule was changed so that only two defending players had to be between the attacker and the goal, rather than three. The rule change caused chaos – as you may have seen if you have been reading the 1925/6 section of Henry Norris at the Arsenal. Try this episode if you want to read about what happened when the rule was changed. The whole series is indexed here.
The other ideas being mulled over include an attempt to stop each country having the right to fix its own start and finish to the transfer deadline, the ending of the away goals count double rule in European knockout games, and VAR in the Champions League (currently being held up because some countries involved in the CL don’t have the technical capacity to operate it at the moment).
Elsewhere Monreal has had enough of the media, and has spoken out. He has got particularly annoyed over the make-believe tales of Ozil’s bust up and storming out of training, and the way the media have self-appointed, untrained and unqualified psychologists analysing Ozil’s body language.
As anyone who has actually studied body language scientifically will tell you, it is not a language, it is a set of habits derived from and related to personality. Deeply ingrained habits are hard to change but their meanings are not written in each individual’s behaviour. Underlying personality however is quite different from body language – but in the fantasy world of journalists, it is completely possible to say what every player is thinking and feeling.
In fact it is much easier to adjudge a journalist’s personality from what he writes than it is to judge an individual’s thoughts from their body language. In fact I might do a spot of journalist personality interpretation from writing in a future meander.
Meanwhile we have the news that Gedion Zelalem is now fully fit after his long lay off and has been spotted, not at the airport, but training with the first team.
Other youngsters training with the big boys are Emile Smith Rowe, Charlie Gilmour, Nathan Tormey, Tolaji Bola, Julio Pleguezuelo and Robbie Burton.
And finally, the Europa squad. It comes in two parts, which after much consideration and several votes Uefa decided to call part 1 and part 2.
Part 1 is the regular team and here it is, and yes, although it can be revised in January, Koscielny is listed in the squad for the first half of the year.
- Petr Cech
- Hector Bellerin
- Mohamed Elneny
- Sokratis Papastahopoulos
- Laurent Koscielny
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan
- Aaron Ramsey
- Alexandre Lacazette
- Mesut Ozil
- Lucas Torreira
- Stephan Lichtsteiner
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles*
- Rob Holding
- Alex Iwobi
- Nacho Monreal
- Bernd Leno
- Shkodran Mustafi
- Danny Welbeck
- Carl Jenkinson
- Emiliano Martinez
- Konstantinos Mavropanos
- Matteo Guendouzi
- Sead Kolasinac
- Granit Xhaka
And part two, which is made up of the youngsters. *One youngster (Maitland Niles) is listed with the main squad but technically is part of this second group…
Daniel Ballard, Tolaji Bola, Robbie Burton, Charlie Gilmour, Deyan Iliev, Eddie Nketiah, Joseph Olowu, Tobi Omole, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Julio Pleguezuelo, Ben Sheaf, Emile Smith Rowe, Dominic Thompson, Nathan Tormey, Joe Willock, Gedion Zelalem, Xavier Amaechi, Trae Coyle, Harry Clarke, Tyreece John-Jules.
And there we have it.
Our memories of a good friend of the History Society
- The bleating of the England camp and non-savvy journalists is a danger to club football
- UK leaving the EU: Premier League awakens to the dangers of an FA takeover
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women