IT WAS good to see the Football Association finally admit that they CAN take retrospective action against players.
Footballwriters.co.uk pointed out last week that there was no FIFA regulation preventing the FA from upgrading a yellow card to a red to rectify an obvious error by the referee.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter confirmed this and the FA have intimated they will change their stance on the matter.
I have no idea why the FA have continually hidden behind a non-existent FIFA disciplinary regulation that if the referee sees an incident English football’s governing body was then powerless to take further action.
Blatter said: ‘This is up to the discretion of the national association. They can use video evidence in the discipline and control committee. If there’s violence the national association can intervene and punish a player – this is permitted at the discretion of the national association.’
Hopefully from next season we shall see a sense of natural justice for offenders.
I have sympathy for referees who have to make a split-second decision about an incident they see in real time from one angle. Not for them the luxury of slo-mo replays from different angles. Human error under such circumstances is understandable but now the FA have been told they can step in and suspend a player guilty of a bad tackle who had only been cautioned at the time.
The FA have been given the green light by FIFA to use video evidence and must ensure in future the punishment fits the crime.