Saturday 9 October 2010

The FA's own guidance contradicts the FA

Given recent events and the violence in the game that the FA refuses to confront, I sent a list of questions to the FA. It was no surprise to me that the FA ignored all the hard questions and claimed that "The FA generally has no power to take retrospective action, due to FIFA directives. ". I found it strange that so many other countries (Belgium/Spain etc) were able to act on dangerous tackling retrospectively, even for incidents seen and punished by the match referee, while the FA was allegedly prevented from doing so by FIFA.

The FA were no help, so I turned to the Football ombudsman who was far more useful, he took the time to discuss things with the FA and he attempted to explain their position; he admitted that there was nothing explicit from FIFA that prevented the FA from acting: " it has been explained that there are not so much FIFA directives as FIFA interventions". In fact he said that it came down to page 332 in the FA's very own handbook:


A charge of Misconduct (as defined in and) pursuant to Rule E3 of the Rules of The
Association may be brought against a Player in relation to an incident, notwithstanding
that the same incident has been dealt with pursuant to this Memorandum. For example,
against a player who has been dismissed from the Field of Play for an incident which The
Association is satisfied was sufficiently serious to warrant an additional sanction, having
particular (but not exclusive) regard to the following:

(a) Any applicable
Law(s) of the Game or Rules and Regulations or FIFA instructions
and/or guidelines;
(b) The nature of the incident, and in particular any
intent, recklessness, negligence
or other state of mind of the Player;
(c) Where applicable, the
level of force used;
Any injury to any Participant caused by the incident;
(e) Any other impact on the game in which the incident occurred;
(f) The
prevalence of the type of incident in question in football generally;
(g) The
wider interests of football in applying consistent sanctions."

I couldn't help chuckling when I read this for the first time, it is quite clear from reading the above concerning rule E3 that the FA could easily act on this issue of dangerous tackling if they so wished. Their own guidance seems to encourage action on dangerous tackling.

Take as an example De Jong breaking Ben Arfa's leg. This was a tackle that broke the rules of the game (serious foul play- (a) on the FA's list), it was reckless and negligent (b), it used an excessive level of force (c) and it caused a serious injury (d), there are also the wider issues which relate to this kind of reckless tackle (f)(g). It ticks almost all of the FA's own boxes.

The FA has been caught with its pants down around its ankles on this issue. Other countries have acted on dangerous tackling (eg Witsel in Belgium and Ujfalusi in Spain) and FIFA has had no problem at all with this. Some rather high powered officals in FIFA are now speaking out on the very same issue. The FA have been so limp and ineffective in confronting dangerous tackling that clubs are being forced into letters of protest, the situation is that bad. It is now clear to me that the FA's hands are not tied, they could act but they simply chose not to for some strange reason only known to themselves.


Anonymous said...

I dont understand what has changed. A few years back the FA were handing bans on after consulting video. Even last season the banned rio ferdinand for an elbow spotted on video...its just strange that they seem to pick and choose when they want to step in. No consistency!!

1979gooner said...

The point is that the FA initially claimed that FIFA rules preventing them from re-refereeing games.

This has been shown to be a lie.

They can re-referee games when certain serious incidents are missed by referees and not punished as they should have been, or merit extra punishment.

The FA's guidance shows that dangerous tackling which threatens limbs is clearly something that can be a serious exception, it is made clear that this is the case by their very own guidelines.

The FA need to be held to account on this. Their current silence speaks volumes.

DesiGunner said...

Excellent work.

The FA seem like an impotent body not having the guts to change the status quo even though it would be significantly beneficial to the English game and team, something I'm sure they're responsible for.

What they need is a man at the top who understands the game, has a vision for English football, and the courage to take the difficult decisions.

Anonymous said...

Hi 1979, great read, here's another in support of the kick kicking out :)

Thanks, rico

Anonymous said...

Excellent work!

The important point is that the fa have now provided written proof that they are dishonest.

This is then not hearsay, this is documented proof of dishonesty.

This must be taken further with the ombudsman.

What has to now be determined is who is punting the line that they cannot act, and to what end.

There is a clearly a hidden agenda here on the part of the fa.

I have maintained for some time that the fa is not the appropriate body to administer football.

Purely on the basis that they have a rival product (the England team) which also relies on them have unfettered access to the paid resources of their competition should be enough of a conflict of interest to rule them out of being in control of the game.

Now that this additional dishonesty and agenda has been exposed by this excellent work, the ombudsman should be approached to make a ruling on the suitability of those acting on these false premises to hold office.

The fa are not an honest administrator.

They need to be removed, and have provided the perfect proof and wedge to drive this point home.


1979gooner said...

Hi MikeSA,

the ombudsman has been helpful but this is not really his area,

the ombudsman says:

"The IFO might become involved if the FA had not handled a complaint properly."

But he feels the FA have answered my queries.

I do see his point.

It comes down to the FA's subjective decision of whether violent tackling is something that should be punished retrospectively.

The FA are clearly wrong with this subjective decision and the only way to force them to do something is via a sustained campaign, the momentum is gathering at the moment and hopefully can be maintained.

The FA clearly have lied though:

"The FA generally has no power to take retrospective action, due to FIFA directives. "

This is a lie in my book.

Anonymous said...

It is quite blatant that the FA,the present board of members are as guilty as de Jong or any other bad tacklers in the premiership. From the outside they seem to ENJOY the violence and thuggery on the pitch,hence the leniency from the referees. Perhaps this is the CV for the FA wants to carry to the bidding of hosting the next world cup. To show how brawny and passionate[sic]the football in England is becoming. Sweet FA indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hi 79Gooner

Pity, although I would ask the ombudsman if he thinks an admission that the fa lied is really a suitable and conclusive response.

Try telling the cops that a confession to a murder is ok and means no further action should be taken.

Perhaps we should follow up with a direct complaint, say about robinson's tackle.

They haven't, and won't deal with that in acceptable manner, and therefore the ombudsman should be forced to pursue?

Nevertheless, maybe our energy is best applied to a committed campaign.

I do feel that the fa are the root cause of all our problems.

The sheer scale of incompetence and mismanagement is mind-boggling, from the splurging of funds (including those they don't have) on a cocktail party pen!s-enlarging exercise (otherwise known as wembley)to the detriment of a national academy to develop the game, to their incompetence/reticence to ensure the rules of the game are applied in a fair and just manner.

I have absolutely no doubt that fixing what's wrong in football is not only about forcing these dinosaurs to apply the rules of the game, it's about cutting the cancer out in it's entirety, and that means ridding the game of the fa in it's current guise.

The game is rotten to the core at the moment, and I wouldn't bet on the underlying cause being rooted in xenophobia.

I think there is money changing hands in one form or another around this issue.


1979gooner said...

Agreed Mike.

I will ask the ombudsman to clarify this.

There are some rather murky vested interest at work at the FA I feel.

It is not just the FA though, this is a bigger issue, it is about using technology as well.

FIFA, UEFA and the FA are all resistant to change, they need to be forced into the 21st century.

Why is the richest sport in the world the last to have taken advantage of technology to improving its decision making procedures?

Glenn said...

Perhaps the Premier league have put pressure on the FA NOT to act? I mean, it is quite obvious that the FA CAN dish out retroaspective bans as they have done so in the past. So maybe, just maybe, the Premier league are sooooo scared that their wonderful product (The "EPL" the best league in the world yadda yadda) would get tarnished and therefore become less appealing if the brutality was made a big issue andthe game was littered with players being given 10 gme bans.

Then again, the FA are as impotenet as a tent full of eunocks, so its probably just that!

1979gooner said...


good point, I think your idea could be close to the mark,

the Premier League may well have its vested interests related to this issue, I suspect it would be impossible to find out though

Glenn said...


True, it would be very difficult wouldn't it!

I've just read that the FA routinely close down youtube clips showing bad tackles and these over the top challenges we are concerned about, citing copyright infringement, yet the clips of goals and assists are all allowed to be aired!

The plot thickens!

finestcuts said...

Congratulations for proving in crystal clear terms that rules to deal with cheating (esp. violent conduct) already exist.

It's a waste of time calling for additional amendments to the rules because those who have the authority to execute them fail to do so.

What is still unclear is; how to ensure that those who have the authority to deal with cheating take action when necessary. Presently there is no consequence to the authorities if they do not
stick to their own rules.

It seems as if clubs are overwhelmed by this system, they know how corrupt and self serving it is yet they take a passive role and do nothing.

Perhaps if they took the FA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for faliure to prosecute cheaters then the FA might be more motivated to keep to their own rules.

We would of course be expecting the Court of Arbitration to be just
and fair, unlike the FA and to use it's authority to take appropriate action against a sports governing body (the FA) who very selectively apply their rules.

Ace said...

Good work 1979gooner!
Cheers to Arseblog for the pointer too.

Slightly off the main point (i.e. the FA have some strange hidden agenda and need to stand to account), but there is an [amusing] irony here.

It is clear that the FA's main priority, loyalty and focus is with the England national team. It is also clear that the English players are lagging behind the world's best in terms of technical, tactical ability and reading of the game.

I think it is no coincidence that a body that sanctions and ultimately endorses this 'style' of play, the managers that revere and instruct this as some sort of tactical mastermind, and the dim witted players who pride themselves in their 'craft' of brutality, all culminate in an inept national team - the last thing they all want.

This is by no means exclusively an English problem (De Jong for example), but I believe to a degree we've not evolved from the dark 70s & 80s. People still of the mindset of that era are deep within English management and within the FA in this country whilst at the higher end our foreign counterparts generally have explored more technical, tactical and progressive paths.

The inability to compete with the guile and genius of some of these top clubs/managers/players calls for some 'good ol' fashioned' rolling of the sleeves and giving 'what for' rather than properly investing in young players so they can combat on an equal footing and ultimately shine on a national level.

Anonymous said...

I think the technology issue and the obfuscation around it is yet another very clear indicator that things are decidely fishy in footie admin generally.

It's very easy to come to the conclusion that the real reasons behind refusing to use technology is that it would reduce the capacity of the referee (and by extension, fifa, uefa and the fa's) to influence the game.

We've all seen dodgy decisions. I can't see that any honest observer of the game wouldn't like to see it controlled in a fair and disciplined manner.

We keep hearing bilge like "oh, the human element is what makes football great".

That's true to the extent that the game is about the skill and failures of the players and their management.

What it most certainly isn't about is the lottery of human failure in the adjudicating process.

Referees are not supposed to be the focus of the game.

They are there to adjudicate, not contribute.

There are 2 sides playing against each other, there is no room for a third party to compete for attention.

Otherwise we might as well mosey on into a casino.

We also keep hearing how the use of technology would interrupt the game.

This is a complete red-herring.

The only time actual video would need to be used is for post game review purposes.

Selection of a suitable technology (for example Hawkeye - used in cricket) that would be able to signal an event almost instantaneously would be simple to implement.

A selection should be made and a technology engaged in stages.

No system will be perfect from day one, and no tech company is going to invest squillions in dev without some sort of commitment in the part of the customer.

Simple use of the system to adjudicate goal line and side line crossing would be fairly simple to implement and use without undue impact.

What would follow would be rhe development of the system to instantly adjudicate off-side decisions, which could set off a siren or similar.

At worst we could have a quick review to ensure the correct decision has been made.

The amount of obfuscation around relatively simple decisions and directions such as this are what makes me highly suspicious of the integrity of the sport.

We've seen cricket taking a serious knock recently, and I don't think it's limited to Pakistan.

Why do we fondly imagine that the biggest sport in the world is clean?

And why do we seem to think it's clean in England when there are so many flashing lights and blaring sirens telling us that it quite likely isn't?


1979gooner said...

agree Mike,

there are some very easy ways in which technology could be introduced without any problems at all, all it would do is help referees and reduce error,


couldn't agree more, there is a great irony here with the average nature of the England side,


i think it would be impossible to take this kind of thing to a court, it comes down to a subjective judgement and not a hard abuse of a rule,

i truly reckon that if we can keep the momentum up behind this then we can force action in the end,

the sad thing is that, as many have pointed out, it will probably take a wayne rooney leg to be broken before anything changes

Danny Murphy's words are a great step forwards though

Anonymous said...

The issue of bad tackling is doomed before it starts,as you have the likes of BOLTONS chairman. phil "let's rip our own fans off" gartside (famed for being caught by the BBC double dealing) on the FA's committee. He's a great admirer of "BIG" Sam Allardyce & his brand of thuggish football,so an impending change in the way the FA views this subject is going to take some doing. Trouble is though,if the FA came down harder on clubs who employ thuggish behaviour on the pitch,the better the english game would be,as god forbid,the coaches would have to really start earning their money & start to try & teach their teams how to learn basic skills. Then tackling would become an art form,as is goal scoring & passing & creating plays. This would not only benefit the premier league,but the national team too. Sadly though,i feel,unless FIFA step in & orders them to "clean house",it'll just get swept under the carpet,unless it's an Arsenal player...then they tend to throw the book at us!!!

jabme1 said...

What a load of B.S. The F.A has acted in the past, retrospectively, to overturn yellow/red cards, or to screw Mr Wenger. This is yet another F.A attempt to weasel out of their responsibilities and bow to UEFA and FIFA. Time to grow a set and get things sorted and stop pussy-footing about, just to keep people happy.

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mobile prices in Pakistan said...

they should follow the rules ....
The point is that the FA initially claimed that FIFA rules preventing them from re-refereeing games.
they seemed to be lie

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