Not since the fall of the Soviet Union has there been a menacing force like the red card. It somehow magically appears out of thin air, from the referee’s pocket to rear its ugly head. The red card is to football players, what Valhallawas to the Vikings. A place where the souls of the dead would sweep you away to the after life. No footballers were hurt in the making of this article. Remember how the Soviets would always try and get one over on their opponents whether it be drugs, psychology, politics or the threat of a global war. They always seemed to rear their ugly head at the most opportune time. What’s to stop the red card from every showing its ugly head? Maybe nothing. With that, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Conspiracy? We all remember the Juventus fiasco with Luciano Moggi. The wire tapping of match officials, which included a lot of bribery. One week players would get sent of for a heinous tackle then magically appear the next week as if nothing happened. Small calls would be made in favour of Juventus such as a foul here and there leading towards the opponents goals. A good opportunity for a scoring chance wouldn’t you say? A little help from the referee never hurts. From what we have learned from our Mediterranean friends, who’s not to say the same can’t happen in England with match officials and the F.A. I beg to differ.
Just this past week Brad Friedel’s red card was rescinded by the F.A. out of thin air. This isn’t new in England. Chelsea players including Lampard, Terry, and others have also gotten their cards rescinded just like that. Liverpool’s Gerrard for his actions at the nightclub in Southport was dismissed completely. As if nothing happened. If you watch matches in the Premier League you can see referees making small calls here and there in favour of certain clubs. Remember the big clubs can intimidate referees and get the call their way. They don’t seem obvious to someone who hasn’t been watching the game forever. I know an act when I see one. Why doesn’t Vidic’s or Rooney’s card get overturned? Makes you think. Being one of the most provoked players in the Premier League it wouldn’t be a surprise for Rooney to be public enemy number one. If you’re the opposing team and the referee is in your pocket, why not? Case in point Rob Styles.
It came to my attention that Rob Styles was on the board of directors for a paving company in London. While this was made public, he continued to referee games involving Chelsea and still does. A great friend to have as well. So the act continues. Whatever happened to Clattenberg? Oh yes! He was fired but then magically his sentence got reduced to eight months. Give me a break. I can’t wait for the lid to blow on English football, the game that I love so much. It’s only a matter of time. If the F.A. can overturn red cards, players acquitted of criminal acts are let free, and have the referee in your pockets (i.e. Roman), then God help the beautiful game.