Belgian Michel D'Hooghe, who is also chairman of FIFA's medical committee, said the above and some other rather interesting things. I could not agree more, there have been too many shocking tackles in the past few years and the punishments for reckless tackling have been way too lenient. The FA seem more concerned with small harmless globs of sputum, while breaking legs is never worth more than a three match ban, utterly ridiculous. The violent and stupid Ryan Shawcross has been putting his bloody foot in it again:
"It's part and parcel of football. They are tough-tackling central midfielders whose games are based on making tackles, winning the ball and then giving it to the ball-players. Sometimes injuries are caused....You have just got to accept in these times, with the ball moving so fast and the player moving so fast, you are going to mis-time tackles. That is when injuries can happen."
Shawcross is a moron. I have no problem with safe tackling, sometimes injuries will happen that are completely unavoidable and just unfortunate. Something that Shawcross fails to acknowledge is the fact that flying into tackles in an out of control and overly forceful manner is inevitably going to result in unnecessary broken bones, irrelevant of whether the ball is won or not, and this is simply not acceptable. We don't have to accept nasty career ending injuries because the likes of Shawcross are too selfish and vicious to bother exerting any kind of control over their limbs when tackling. Danny Murphy has bravely spoken out against thugs like Shawcross and clubs like Stoke:
"If you`re going in at a certain pace and don`t get it right you are going to hurt someone. Players need to be more intelligent, especially the ones who are doing it repeatedly. They are culpable in that. You get managers sending teams out to stop other sides from playing, which is happening more and more....Stoke, Blackburn and Wolves — you can say they`re doing what they can to win the game — but the fact is that the managers are sending the players out so pumped up that inevitably there are going to be problems."
It is worth reading what Danny Murphy has said properly, it is absolutely spot on. Some players do need to more intelligent, the violence that is routinely employed by certain players and clubs equates to an intent to harm in my book. Ironically in the past Murphy's own manager, Mark Hughes, has directly ordered his team to go out to aggressively kick better sides off the park.
The continued silence from the FA on this issue is stunningly deafening. The likes of Shawcross, Taylor and Henry should be facing months on the sidelines, not just a couple of weeks when they end another player's career. The Belgian FA banned Axel Witsel for nearly three months for a tackle that brutally broke an opposition player's leg, Tomas Ujfalusi was recently banned for two games for a relatively tame tackle that injured Lionel Messi; note that both these incidents were seen and punished at the time by the referee.
The FA claim that they can do nothing retrospectively when the referee has already seen the incident. This is a complete and utter lie. The FA can easily make the subjective judgement about any incident that the referee has made a 'serious or obvious' error, and then hand down a harsh ban for a bad tackle retrospectively, there is also the Ben Thatcher precedent. There is no rule or law to stop them doing this, the only thing stopping them is their own complete lack of guts which prevents them from confronting this cancer in our game.