There have been a couple of alterations to the law regarding retrospective action from the FA.
In July they changed the law after a tackle from Wigan’s Callum McManaman on Newcastle’s Massaido Haidara was missed by referee Mark Halsey because his view was obstructed and neither assistant was in a position to make a decision.
The scope of retrospective action was the widened to off the ball incidents and acts of violent conduct even if the referee had seen it after Fernando Torres looked to have scratched Jan Vertonghen in Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at White Hart Lane earlier on this season.
But there seems to be a flaw in the FA’s policy. Take Kevin Mirallas as an example at the weekend for his challenge on Luis Suarez. Many have said that given the tackle connected with the back of Suarez’s knee, and left a distinctive mark on the Uruguayan, that it warranted a red card rather than the yellow that referee Phil Dowd deemed as suitable punishment.
But since he has given a punishment for the incident, then retrospective action doesn’t seem to be taken.
Yesterday, Sunderland’s Wes Brown has had his red card rescinded which proves that challenges are looked at after the game has taken place – so even if someone has received punishment on the field, if it is deemed not harsh enough, why can they not upgrade the punishment afterwards?
Is it a simple case of the FA are too worried about undermining the referees rather than handing out a correct punishment? We can all accept the element of human error – if anything retrospective action after such an incident could earn officials a degree more of the respect that they deserve.
Whilst improvements are welcome to that policy from the FA, it has to go further.
image: © braveheartsportsnetwork