An FA rule that needs to be changed

Should Robin Van Persie and Robert Huth have received 3 match bans?

Robin Van Persie and Robert Huth will not face disciplinary action from the FA despite TV evidence appearing to show Van Persie elbowing another player in the face and Huth stamping on Suarez. It's the 2nd time Van Persie has escaped punishment this year after a similar incident against Carlos Cuellar in the Aston Villa game in February so why have both players escaped punishment?

The FA rule is that a player cannot retrospectively be punished for an incident if the referee admits he saw the incident at the time; if he didn't see the incident he gets a 2nd bite of the cherry and is allowed to review it on film and judge wherther he would have sent the player off at the time.

Michael Jones was the ref against Aston Villa and said he'd seen it happen and deemed it not worthy of action. On Sunday Howard Webb was the ref and the reaction on the forums and radio stations has been, oh well he would wouldn't he.... Howard Webb's nickname is Man United's 12th man, because of the perceived bias he has shown to them in the past. He is also the same ref who failed to notice Mario Balotelli's stamp on Scott Parker earlier in the year, despite appearing to have the best view of the incident in the stadium, he later changed his mind and Super Mario was charged and banned.

The refs are in an invidious position, no one likes to admit they have got it wrong and under performed, but players have been dismissed for far less looking innocuous elbows than Van Persie's. Many incidents that look insignificant at first sight can very different from a different angle and the English game is so fast that it's easy for a Ref to get it wrong.


Refs have their performances rated and if they are effectively admitting that they made a mistake they are possibly endangering their position on the elite list or officiating in the Premiership. The decision should not lie with them as it is difficult for them to give a subjective decision retrospectively.

Why not just end the confusion and change the rule so that any offence can be looked at again, whether the ref saw it or not? How difficult is it to get 5 man panel of ex-players together to review the incidents on a Monday and if they return a majority decision then the decision should be overturned.

Do the rules need to be changed?

When a decision is reviewed retrospectively should the ref be taken out of the situation and the decision left to ex players?

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Comments 2 comments

Donnacha C profile image

Donnacha C 4 years ago from Ennis, Co Clare, Republic of Ireland

last weekend's decisions were a joke....I don't think however that anyone expected Howard Webb to report Van Persie (now that he is a Man UTD player), he simply wouldn't do that or he may find himself refereeing in the the Championship next weekend... The standard of referees is below poor in the EPL and it seems the whole league is a fix.....


markfo profile image

markfo 4 years ago from Middlesex, England Author

I agree Donacha and I've just read an interesting article in the Daily Mail from Graham Poll saying that both players should have been reported.

Webb is a very over rated ref he seems to make a lot of mistakes in the big games and it would have meant him admitting he had got it wrong two weeks on the trot.

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