Connect with us


The English FA: Corrupt and Pathetic


Everyone has had their own personal go at FIFA over the past few months, with most of the English nation angry that they didn’t get the World Cup (and were humiliated in the process), but the spotlight rarely falls on the English establishment of football and many of their agendas seem to slip under radar. I’ve had distaste for my country’s FA for some time now, but the reasons I am writing such a scathing attack on them is because of what I read last night. This article in the Mirror claims that England are set to punish players that withdraw from the England squad without being checked by the FA’s medical staff, which I guess is somewhat fair (although I don’t see the great urgency to call up players for pointless international friendlies). The article cites Newcastle United’s Nile Ranger, who withdrew from England U20’s make or break, blockbuster FRIENDLY against France U20’s without being examined by the English medical staff. But it’s another part of this situation that annoys me, with a quote below taken from the article:

“Ranger was to be banned from playing against Blackburn tomorrow, but they were forced to postpone the action when they realised Manchester United defender Chris Smalling had been allowed to cry off Under-21 duty without reporting to England.”

When I first read that sentence, I was dumbfounded for words. You’ll take Man Utd’s word on it, but Newcastle should be punished? I’ve realised, this season in particular, there has been a particular lack of consistency from the FA in many of the decisions they have made.  Most of us are already aware of the terrible treatment the likes of Wolves and Blackpool have received for fielding “under strength teams”, as both have been fined unjustly. The fact is, the FA ask you at the start of the season to make a squad of 25 players (which in itself is one of the weakest set of squad rules in world football, that does little to aid home-grown player development) so why are clubs being fined for fielding these players? I actually find it quite disrespectful to the starting line ups of the Wolves and Blackpool sides on those days, and that Blackpool XI actually put in a great performance only suffering a narrow 3-2 loss. I also ponder why these fines aren’t handed out for teams fielding “under strength” sides in the FA Cup, but then I remember that the FA Cup doesn’t make as much of a profit as the EPL does.

You may have read Karl Sears’ wonderful write up of his reasoning’s for not supporting his national side (which I echo) and I was talking to fellow EPL talk writer Jesse Chula the other day about many of the problems with the English national side. The main one, I believe, is the selection policy and I honestly don’t believe that Fabio has full power over some of the players chosen. Capello claims that he is picking players “on form” yet somehow Joey Barton, who has probably been the best English midfielder this season, misses out on the national side. As well as this, Glenn Jonhson, who isn’t even first choice right back at Liverpool anymore, get’s in the squad. And the selection of Carlton Cole…well need I say more? I think England fans should envy France and Italy, two nations that really took action on their poor World Cup performances and completely overhauled their squads in preparation for future competitions; England on the other hand seem to be stuck in a state of limbo where they are too scared to drop a number of high profile players due to their marketability and in the end they are only going to suffer from the same old results. Italy imposed stricter rules on Serie A teams in order to makes them develop Italian players, yet the EPL still doesn’t have the same rules as it is more than likely that the FA are worried that profits will drop if fewer foreign stars can fill teams up. I’m not saying I don’t want these foreign players in this league, I love them, but there can hardly be complaints about England’s poor performances when there is nothing to encourage reliance on developing English players.

The home nations tournament has just got under way and I’ve heard many ask why England aren’t involved, as with interest in the national side taking a blow after last summer, this would surely be an ideal chance to reignite interest in the team. A friendly against Denmark isn’t exciting and when you are calling up a lot of the same old faces and not experimenting with a lot of fresh new faces, it becomes mundane and pretty pointless. But if England on the other hand were in a home nations tournament, I would be genuinely interested, as although it is still technically a friendly tournament, you know it is going to be competitive and something that would be exciting to watch. I’ve seen arguments that being in the home nations cup “wouldn’t really test this English side”, but I don’t believe that England are at as high a level as they think they are and much of their reputation is built through optimism and media hype. When I turn on FIFA 11 and chose Chelsea, I see John Terry is rated something ridiculous like 84, but when I watch him play in real life, he has all the tactical awareness of a paper bag blowing in the wind. I do believe they are better than the likes of the other home nations (with no disrespect, although I do believe that on their day any of them could give England real problems), but the recent friendly against France showed that they are not quite on the elite level.

I was going to mention something about the FA handing out bans this season, although I couldn’t find videos of incidents to help showcase my point. The fact is that I wouldn’t mind some of the FA’s decisions this season if there was some actual consistency to what they were doing. Joey Barton got a three match ban for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the chest which was justified and correct, yet on the same day, Cesc Fabregas made a horrible lunge in a game against Wolves which went completely unpunished. If you want to make the argument that a punch is worse than a dangerous tackle like that, then you are wrong; that is saying it is ok to try and break players legs. Tom Huddlestone also got away with a blatant stomp on Johan Elmander this season, something which was caught clearly by cameras and I cannot see how the FA can genuinely not hand out a ban for something like this.

I am bewildered at times at how this FA conducts itself.

Follow me on Twitter: @Clusks

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more


  1. Pakapala

    February 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I love the way fans are moaning about “meaningless” friendlies during the club seasons but when their team fail at a tournament (WC) they cry that the players should get more time playing together.
    How are national teams supposed to prepare for meaningful games, if they don’t play so-called “meaningless” games? Something gotta give, do you want your national team to do well at international tournaments or do you only care for your club?

    • richard

      March 4, 2011 at 1:24 am

      Come one now, we all know that these friendlies are simply FIFA and UEFA’s way of exacting some semblance of control. Oh and by the way to make a few pesos. When National teams start paying players salaries than we can have this conversation. Until then, this is a non starter.

  2. SoccerLimey

    February 12, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I like the premise of your position but I would hardly call this group of bumbling oafs “corrupt” – they just aren’t smart enough for that.

    The FA has outgrown it’s usefulness in the modern day sports world. Like all sporting administrations that are not profit driven, they are more concerned about their own sustainability than anything else, which is why most of the decisions they make, confound the average thinker.

    The England set-up hasn’t changed in 40 years. Clubs still hate for their players to participate in friendlies, but are quite willing to reap the financial benefits of what international football brings to a players value ( Luis Suarez anyone? ). I think that there needs to be some accountability where clubs are policed in releasing their players or the whole system falls apart, but we now go back to my original point. The FA just aren’t smart enough to figure out a common sense way to do this.

    I have advocated for some time now that the England teams from youth level up should be given to the Premier League to administer. The FA would still get enough money to run the game at the grass roots level. Sell off Wembley to a private company to run or lease it to a London club. I think we would then see a more competitive team, with a manager who understands the game, without being concerned with “keeping up appearances”

  3. Luke The Gooner

    February 12, 2011 at 6:58 am

    For once,i have to agree with q spurs fan,who seems to be one of a few people on this site that understands football. 1,How can the FA be judged a just organisation,with the likes of Gartside (bolton) as one of the main players on the FA board. The same man who stitched up his own club over the J J Okocha affair. The same man who told his clubs fans Okocha forced the sale,when he was caught on camera by the BBC forcing the sale himself. It’s like putting the Mafia in charge of the Bank of England,& still expecting it to still have money in the next day! 2,Capello’s right not to include a reckless idiot like Barton in the side. The way he goes about kicking lumps out of the opposition with impunity,won’t wear with European refereess. In every game he plays in,it’s a cast iron guarantee we’d end up with 10 men on the pitch due to his reckless challenges. As for him being the best premier league midfielder…what planet is the author of this suggestion from? Have’nt had a good laugh in ages until i read that bunch of garbage. 3, trying to compare Fabregas to Barton is just another attempt at cesc bashing that us at the Emirates are getting used to & totally bored with. So,if you’re going to write about crap,at least make it plausible crap. Like the spurs man says,us & spurs are the only real teams who want to go out & play football as it should be played!!!

  4. Davi

    February 12, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Good article. I lost faith in them last year when jonny evans broke drogba’s rib(s) with a flying kick, but escaped any punishment. Rio ferdinand did something similar in the arsenal game this year with no punishment as well, although I don’t think that was so intentionally malicious.
    The blackpool fine this year is the worst example though. How can they set up these rules and then fine the club for following them!? That particular “rule” does favour the big clubs, without question.
    @Ken I’m an arsenal fan as well. They don’t retrospectively ban players if the ref has seen the incident (which was probably the ruling on the two examples I cited above). I agree that barton’s challenge was awful, and not enough has been said about it. The point is made that he got the ball, but he could easily have broken diaby’s leg, so it’s unsurprising he got upset. Who wants to suffer that a 3rd major injury from another player’s unchecked aggression/lack of competence?! Overall that was the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen, and on the same day giggs gets away with kicking doyle off the ball, and throwing zubar(?) to the ground and scholes escapes with a yellow after trying to score with his hands. And what’s worse is that nothing was made of it in the media! So we are now (rightly) missing diaby – who was looking really good in that game – for 3 games, while they get to keep ahold of their most experienced, and arguably most important players, despite their clear violations of the laws of the game.
    Hope wolves can’t play so well today, but I think doyle’s movement will give us trouble in defence.

    • richard

      March 4, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Viera, Keown, Parlour, Ashley Cole need I say more —put aside your ultra pathetic and somewhat juvenile bias. The fouls committed by Parlour alone is sufficient to make my case. Throw in Viera and, well, I think you get the point.

      • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

        March 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

        Richard…your ¨arguments¨ are the most fragile, nonsensical and illogical yet you diss everyone else on this blog as if you were the only one with any sense. If you’re trying to be the devil’s advocate…learn how to do it properly.
        Every team has it tough guys and enforcers, so what? This whole blog isn’t about who has what and who does what to whom in the EPL. It is about the FA’s inconsistent and variable treatment of clubs and the RA’s lacklustre performance across a number of seasons. Get with the plot and try making some positive suggestions for a change.

  5. ken

    February 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    First off I am an Arsenal supporter so this may come off as biased. I’ve watched almost all of Arsenals premier league games this season and quite a few cup ties and I feel like its media creating a story and after awhile people believe it as fact. The media has been calling Arsenal soft for so long that when an opposing player fouls an Arsenal player, the Arsenal player is consider soft, but when an Arsenal player fouls a player from the opposing team, there is some intent behind it. No one seems to talk about the fact that Barton led with his KNEES in that tackle on Diaby, both knees shin high. What deserves a red card if that doesn’t? What deserves some retroactive action if that doesn’t? I know that’s the premier league and not the FA but to me it bleeds together when you have England on the international stage where players can’t be as wreckless and physical, failing to do well in tournaments year after year.

    • richard

      March 4, 2011 at 12:59 am

      Are you the same Arsenal that had Viera, Keown, Parlour and a few other nasties in you winning teams? Yes, that would be you. Shut it Gooner man, the fellas listed above wreaked havoc on many opposing players over the years. Your argument is pathetic and oh so convenient. Win a trophy and then you can talk!!!

  6. R2Dad

    February 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    The inconsistency shown by FA referees shows there is a disagreement on standards within FA management. The FA is stuck between accepting “reducers” and other staples from the 70’s and today’s fast-paced, technical play. The answer is to bring in a new generation of referees that all have the same idea of what a foul is, agree on the severity of that foul, and the ability to make the correct call. The problem, in a nutshell, is “what constitutes Excessive Force”? It’s in the Laws of the Game–the FA just has to enforce what’s in the book, and it doesn’t want to.

  7. Elliot

    February 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    As well, wasn’t there a stamp made by Jack Wilshere which everyone thought should be banned, but he got let off by the FA?

  8. Elliot

    February 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Notice how they weren’t going to do it to United seeing as United only had Vidic and Smalling fit as centrebacks (meaning fullbacks could fill in), but then they would do it to Newcastle who also has a crisis, but a more severe one.

  9. dominjon

    February 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Yep, great idea, go after the club with a striker crisis, because they tried to protect one of their few fit and available strikers from playing a U21 friendly.
    I mean there are quite a lot of young players out there, many outside the top league, who are well worth giving a go, seeing as it is a friendly. Wouldn’t it be more benefical to have a look at talented youngsters in the Championship or even league 1, players who may be getting more game time, rather than sticking to the same players, most of whom are on the books of premiership clubs, but rarely play. What have you lost if the player shows they are not able to make a step up in quality, seeing as it is a friendly? And if it works out, you have gained a lot.

  10. Terry

    February 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    The FA and EPL will do anything to kiss Fergie’s arse. That’s why Man U players and offcials get away with so much. Live with it! That’s just the way it is and is not going to change because neither body has the balls to stand up to Man U.

    The officiating in the EPL is a big problem. Too many inconsistencies. The officiating in the EPL is the worse in Europe.

    • richard

      March 4, 2011 at 1:11 am

      We have been down this path on to many occasions…yes the officiating in the EPL could be better, but guess what, that’s the case in many of the top leagues. There is one thing that as a former player I have learned, over the course of a season the bad calls tend to be balanced by the calls that go in your favour. Case in point, Rooney should have seen red at Wigan and just three days later when all of the conspiracy theorist where running amok, UNited gets robbed at Chelsea; penalty –Terry hand ball; Luiz should have received a red card for 2, too many blatant fouls, after being booked. Smalling called for a soft penalty, but a penalty just the same and Vidic shown red and rightfully so for a blatant foul after he had received a yellow card. Put away your conspiracy theory BS, every team gets good and bad calls.FACT!

  11. karki

    February 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Arsenal and how mch bias they suffer,, They hav been robbed match after match and Nile Ranger story is the one that triggers u,, doesnt it ?? I’l tell u why
    U ppl dont want Arsenal to win any trophy as u r jealous of them because
    1. Arsenal are the only club in England that dont adopt ur traditional, boring ‘hoof n hope’ type of English football and are doing quite good to beat the English compatriots with their beautiful football against speed and physicality
    2. We’ve built a big new stadium by ourselves and still we’re financially the most sound club in the country and we’ve never been out of top 4 and played CL every other yr

    3. The manager is a French who has his unique style of football and u dont want to see a foreigner being so much successful in ur country with some unique style of game and with a bunch of young boys

    4. Wenger is a straightforward man and not a diplomat

    Got it ?? It’s nothing,, just a jealousy bt it’s at such an extent that is costing the club many points,, game after game..week after week.. And when the manager talks about injustice,, he is whinging.. When he talks about leg-breaking tackles his players suffer,, he’s being over-protective and the players are not men enough,, When they learn to live up to the physicality and fight ,, they are easily red-carded and called a dirty team,, What the f**k is wrong with u people ?? Diaby has escaped 3 horrific leg-breaking tackles this season,,and unsurprisingly none of them were carded ,, and u mention 1 Fabregas tackle and say he intended to break the leg !! Are u f**king insane ?? Shame on ur shit journalism! Xenophobic bastards!!
    Everton and Newcastle games,, do i need to say ?? everyone of u know,, that it was deliberate injustic done by the refs who want to reduce points for Arsenal,, bt u media dont seem to bother,, U have isolated Arsenal totally but isnt it you who secretly admires our style of play and hoped ur team also did the same ??Bt sad tht not everyone can play football here,, only kicking people and breaking legs! and u report it upside down !!
    Seems as if there is consensus in FA that Arsenal are to be treated like this,, so mch in the name of bias and favouritism ?? If Arsenal got the favour MU is getting(like penalties at OT,added time till they score winner,no penalties for opposite team,escape of bookings and bans,protection of players) , Arsenal would be sitting pretty top in the League now,, 10 points clear of MU…
    It even reached such stage that Phil Dowd was suspected of match-fixing in Newcastle game.. I was so much hoping for it to come true but i dont know how many years i’l still have to wait to see people doing their job honestly and fair-play spirit is maintained,, U moan for injustice done by FIFA in WC 2010 but look at your own home,, U r so mch corrupted,, so much ill at ur heart and ur actions,, so much biased, And thus,, so much empty !! When will u learn ?? When will u correct urself ?? This is my question to FA and English media`

    • Dave C

      February 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Without meaning to sound “xenophobic” (the catch-all insult used against any one who criticizes Arsenal in anyway), people woul be more likely to read your comment if it was written in English.

    • MennoDaddy

      February 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Wow. I’m not going to even ATTEMPT to feed that troll.

      Just… wow.

    • PhillySpur

      February 11, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      What a great references point for showcasing the paranoid, delusional Arsenal supporter.

    • EdmontonScouse

      February 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Don’t want to feed the troll….. but does he realize the FA doesn’t make the decisions in the Premier League?

    • R2Dad

      February 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      more heat than light and too hard to read.

    • cubarebel

      February 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      as a SPURS FAN TILL I DAY, i agree with most of your post gooner no wait all of IT!!!!
      I see it broad as daylight, we’ve been srewd in the ass by the refs to, and cesc is no dirty player, and I HATE ARSENAL, but much respect to your team, were the only teams that like to attack in the pl

    • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

      February 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Calm down mate……Xenophobia is a big word, better stick to the 1 syllable variety. Arsenal are dissed so often by the media and other cretins, including Phillysperm below because they are an easy target. SAF and the Manure crew are England’s sacred cow, the media are intimidated by him and the referees cower in fear when he vents!
      Weaker EPL teams love to show that Wenger’s ¨continental style¨ of Football can be easily demolished by ¨sticking it up them¨ and playing long balls with the valiant hope that Arsenal’s defense will falter, which it does all too often. It isn’t class Football but it can get results. Park the bus and defend with 10 players walling off the goal is another great British invention.
      There is NO conspiracy against Arsenal, either by the FA, the EPL, the officials or anyone else you can name, including the Pope. There is, however a strong prejudice evidenced by the TV punditry and media, but that holds true for a number of EPL clubs. They have their favourites and that’s that!

    • richard

      March 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

      Six years without a trophy–end of story, no need to comment further on your petty rant—

      • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

        March 4, 2011 at 10:17 am

        What does your inane and meaningless reiteration of the same old 5 year trophyless taunt have to do with the FA, fairness in the application of the Laws, etc. Wait,I see, you’re a Spudsucker loser whose team has not won anything of note in 20 years!

  12. jm

    February 11, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I agree with the point of the article, but a small note – your Barton/Fabregas argument is invalid. Fabregas should have been sent off there, and I’d like to see bans for reckless challenges like that.

    But to say that arguing the Barton punch was worse implies that it is “ok to try and break players legs” is just bizarre. First, even if the Barton incident is *worse* does not mean that the Fabregas incident is *excusable* (that it is “ok”). This the main reason why the argument is formally invalid. Second, intent has not been introduced into the argument. You’d have to add the implicit premise here that Fabregas intended to break the Wolves’ players leg. I rewatched the tackle, and I’d be hard pressed to agree (I think players almost never have this intention, see below). Even if the argument were valid in the first place, it would require a really controversial and unstated premise.

    I’m not trying to be pedantic, this is an important issue. The reason that it matters is that it perpetuates the intent based approach to thinking about these tackles. In the Fabregas tackle, for example, both him and the Wolves player are running straight at the ball, but the Wolves player is a step ahead and has an inside track. They both lunge for the ball. It is massively uncharitable to conclude from this that Fabregas was trying to injure the player. I think this holds for almost all bad tackles in a football match – we almost never have the evidence to conclude that the player actually intended the harm. The issue, though, is that the tackles are reckless. In the Fabregas case, it was obvious that the Wolves player had the inside track, and he left his feet to make the tackle.

    This is what we ought to be condemning, and we ought to be issuing bans for. I indeed would like to see bans given to players for reckless challenges, as I would hope that it would change the culture on them. I think this point stands or falls independently of the Barton punch, and the argument should be that “violent conduct” should include reckless behavior in addition to intended acts of violence – a claim I would agree with. Such an argument would also preclude a possible response from a defender of the FA here, namely that intending to do violence is worse than recklessly doing violence, which puts the onus back on your implicit premise. It is better to attack this argument directly.

    • Rob McCluskey

      February 11, 2011 at 11:53 am

      But then you consider that in the game you can get sent off for that thing and the ban won’t be overturned, why isn’t there retrospective action against Fabregas. I agree that the intent is hard to judge, but when you look at De Jong’s tackle against Ben Arfa this season, there was no need to go in that hard and he ended up breaking the lad’s leg in two places. That sort of thing should be punished.

      And also, the Huddlestone stomp on Elmander this season had clear intent yet there was no action taken. It’s this sort of inconsitency that is frustrating by the FA and needs to be addressed, there is little way you can say in that incident Huddlestone didn’t mean to stomp on the player.

      Interesting points made though!

      • jm

        February 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm

        Just to be clear, I am agreeing with you about retroactive punishment. I was rather arguing that our focus should be on arguing that reckless challenges deserve punishment whether intentional or not.

    • R2Dad

      February 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      You are being pedantic, and you’re also factually incorrect. Intent has nothing to do with whether cards are given for a tackle, at least as the laws of the game are written. Referees can only judge behavior.

      • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

        February 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm

        R2Dad…officials do indeed judge intent which is one of the 3 elements used by them in determining the seriousness of the infraction or whether it is an infraction at all. The other two elements are the level of risk inherent in the potentially foul behaviour and the nature of the behaviour itself (was it violent, serious foul play, etc.). That is why dangerous play is cautionable and an indirect free kick is awarded but it is always a direct free kick and a dismissal if it was done in a violent or exceptionally dangerous manner. The officials look at the way the player committing the foul was focussed, did he or she target the opponent or were they focussed on the ball? Did they play the ball or their opponent, did they use two feet to tackle, was their boot raised above their hips and near the adversary’s face or other dangerous area when trying to get the ball, with an opponent beside them, etc.?

        • R2Dad

          February 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm

          Yes, technically intent is one of the criteria used to evaluate whether a tackle is red card-worthy, but it’s very subjective–how do we know what players intend to do?– so in most instances the other elements are more relevant. Still, I call BS on myself.
          There are 6 variables to evaluate:
          Speed of play and the tackle
          Aggressive Nature
          Position of the tackler (how high are his legs wrt player, ball)
          Opportunity to play the ball
          Atmosphere of the game

          Otherwise, we are in agreement.
          I was trying to follow JM but got lost in the inscrutable wording of his post.
          My problem with the FA/EPL is a tackle that uses Excessive Force: A red card is required (direct free kick). Force is not just speed or power, but area of contact (face/neck/ankle/knee) and mode of contact (bottom of boot/elbow/forearm/fist). In Barton’s tackle, he goes knee-in. EPL referees don’t want to call this a red card, and many fans don’t want him to either.

          • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

            February 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

            R2Dad….thanks for the clarification about intent….it is clearly implied in the use of the words deliberate and considered by the referee in the Laws and has elucidated the laws more clearly. However that said, the referee always has the last word.

        • Pakapala

          February 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

          @Domhuaille MacMathghamhna
          you are incorrect sirt. Intent has nothing to do with whether a tackle foul is bookable or not. Recklessness or mindless yes! But not intent. Referee are not to look for intent in calling a foul; the key for the referee is whether that challenge was wreckless, badly missjudged. The reason they are not asked to judge intent is because you cannot judge intent in a live game. Post-match sanctions can be given based on intent but not in-game sanctions. 2 players going for a ball; 1 player launch his foot into the other’s chest; that is a foul regardless of intent, it is just wreckless way of playing the ball. That is not to say that referees follow the rules all the time, but the rules do not factor in intent.

          • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

            February 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

            I don’t know where you got this information from but dear Pakapala, someone grievously misinformed you. Intent IS mentioned in the Laws of the Game at least twice and at least 5 times in different FIFA committee decisions.
            when I took my National badge and refereed in the North American Soccer League we were taught how to judge intent along with a number of factors. R2Dad above quoted them very accurately and I have edited them a bit but here they are:
            The pace and manner of the tackle
            Intent (what the player indicated his intent to be, the ball or the man or both)
            Aggressiveness nearing or being violent or dangerous foul play
            Position of the tackler (how high are his legs/what part of his body contacts his opponents body in respect to the tackle and ball)
            Opportunity to play the ball safely
            Temperature of the game (how emotional and intense it is)

            If you are a referee, you had better speak to a senior official to get your facts straight…if you are a player or fan, read the Laws again.

          • R2Dad

            February 13, 2011 at 11:13 am

            Domhuaille, maybe back in the NASL days, but the word ‘intention’ was deleted from the Laws in 1996/1997. It was thought inappropriate since the introduction of the terms “Careless and Reckless” into the Laws in 1995/1996. The use of the words ‘careless and ‘reckless’ in Law 12 were included to allow Referees to interpret situations easier – but some Referees had problems with specific incidents involving deliberate acts that were not initially considered dangerous, but could have been considered reckless or careless. (For example, when a player commits a scissors kick when there are no other players near, but then a swiftly advancing opponent very nearly gets kicked in the head). Weather conditions may also produce a dangerous situation where a player is neither careless nor reckless. Law 12 now includes the terms ‘careless, reckless or using excessive force’ when players commit an offense. Apart from acts of simulation and handball, the word ‘intention’ is no longer used in the Laws to gauge whether a foul is a foul or not! In other words, Referees [are] no longer asked to consider intention – it is either a foul or it is not a foul.
            The word ‘deliberate’ (in the sense of deliberately committing a foul) also no longer features in the wording of Law 12. It is impossible for a Referee to judge whether a player commits a foul deliberately or whether a player intentionally sets out to kick, charge, push, trip, hold or impeded an opponent. The new wording ‘careless, reckless or using excessive force’ makes it much easier for a Referee to make a judgment based upon what the player actually does (and not whether it was done deliberately or intentionally). The Referee can then make his decision based upon the player’s action, and not upon what the Referee thinks was in the player’s mind.
            In 1995 several minor changes including offside on penalty kick rewrite of laws 11 & 12 – intended for clarity, not substantial change:
            · seeking to gain advantage -> gaining an advantage
            · intentionally obstructs -> impedes
            · intentionally handles -> deliberately handles
            · intentionally -> in a manner…careless, reckless or involving disproportionate force
            So what was…
            A player who intentionally commits any of the following nine offenses…shall be penalized by the award of a direct free-kick…
            A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following six offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
            This is from the 1995 USSF Memorandum:
            USSF Advice to Referees [regarding major changes to the language of the first part of Law XII dealing with major fouls]: Through these changes to Law XII, the International Board has removed the previous requirement of the referee to decide on the “intent” of the player in committing a particular act.
            This revision of the Law brings the text of the Law into conformity with the reality of what USSF and FIFA instructors have been teaching for many years.In the case of direct free kick offenses, it is still the responsibility of the referee to judge the result of an unfair challenge (first six being careless, reckless or involving disproportionate force — last four strictly on result observed) and to penalize the offending player/team accordingly.

      • jm

        February 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        R2Dad – you have misunderstood my argument. I did not make any contentions about what the rules say about intent. I made a contention about what the rules *ought* to be. It is the simple descriptive/normative distinction. You are critiquing me for a claim I did not make.

        (I’m probably being pedantic again, but, well, I’d rather be pedantic and right than not be and misread people before accusing them of errors).

        • jm

          February 11, 2011 at 11:11 pm

          (Not to mention, of course, that I obviously do not think that intent matters. I do not think reckless challenges should be defined in terms of intent, and I think the focus on intent is too narrow.)

  13. Kel Varnsen

    February 11, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that Blackpool and Wolverhampton’s punishments were meted out by the Premier League and not the FA. After all, it was Premier League rules that the two clubs were deemed to have breached. Not saying that it was the right decision (I’m a Blackpool fan after all) but I think you’re blaming the wrong party in that instance.

    • MennoDaddy

      February 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

      That is correct, Kel. I made that mistake myself last week in the podcast open thread; Richard, Laurence and Kartik also made the same mistake in the podcast.

      It’s pretty easy to conflate the two organizations. Both have made some shockingly shambolic decisions recently.

      • R2Dad

        February 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

        “Conflation” sounds sexy. Which party is the conflator and which the conflatee?

    • Rob McCluskey

      February 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

      I was unsure myself so I looked it up, I did find articles regarding Holloway threatening to resign because of an “FA fine”, so I apologise for that one! But in truth the two are strongly associated and work heavily with each other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in General

Translate »