One doesn't have to look far on the Internet to find countless examples of problems with the FA's useless disciplinary system. High profile examples include Gerrard's missed elbow (Stuart Attwell again!), Mascherano's missed elbow, the RVP and Adebayor exchanges, the Ashley Cole tackle on Alan Hutton, RVN's punching of Freddie Ljungberg and on and on ad infinitum. It has been clear that their disciplinary system has been failing for years.
The fact that the most violent conduct on the field is being dealt with in such an incoherent, inconsistent and frankly haphazard way is not only unfair but it puts players at a greater risk of sustaining serious injuries, as violent play is slipping through the FA's net time and time and time again. The FA's logic to justify the fact that no retrospective charge has been administered is that the 'referee saw and dealt with the incident at the time'. The FA claim that they cannot ever re-referee matches:
"The referee saw the incident and dealt with it. We cannot re-referee matches....The player was shown a yellow card at the time and the decision is not then looked at retrospectively."
However they have not always done this, for example they set a precedent in 2006 by upgrading a booking and suspending Ben Thatcher following his challenge on Pedro Mendes in a game between Manchester City and Portsmouth in August 2006. The justification of this was particularly woolly:
"The reason why Ben Thatcher was charged in addition was because, even if he had been sent off by the referee Dermot Gallagher, we would still have charged him on top...That was the rationale we used to charge him with violent conduct."
Under Fifa regulations, a decision taken by a referee can only be rectified by a disciplinary committee if the referee sends off the wrong player, or makes an obvious and serious error. Failing to send off someone for a leg breaking tackle or a deliberate elbow to the head would seem like both obvious and serious errors to me, thus surely referees could be rectified in these cases? UEFA have also charged players in the past for incidents that were seen by the referee.
To me it is clear that the FA have the power to charge whoever they want retrospectively, it is quit clear because they have done it in the past, they have set the precedent. This even applies if the referee saw the incident and punished it at the time. However sometimes they claim they cannot do this because they are hamstrung by the rules, this is untrue, if they want to they can, it just comes down to a subjective judgement. Where there's a will there's a way and it's abundantly clear to me that the FA do not have the will to stamp out the most violent and reckless play from the game, and that is not only sad, it is an utter disgrace.
Paul Robinson's tackle and Steven Gerrard's elbow were both serious and obvious refereeing errors from Stuart Attwell. The fact that they have both been let slide speaks volume about the FA's lack of desire to stamp out violent play, they could easily charge these players if they so wished. It is time football got with the times and introduced video technology to assist referees, the idea of a rugby style citing system after games would also have the potential to cut down violence in the game massively. Diaby was maimed by Dan Smith and the FA did nothing, Diaby has now been assaulted by Paul Robinson and the FA are doing nothing again, how many more violent acts must we see go unpunished?