Once again I look back at a weekend where crucial, and ridiculous, decisions are made by the referees and the authorities that govern them. Two offsides, a dodgy penalty, a red card tackle and a clear cut penalty all in one match, all in one of the biggest matches, for both teams, even at this stage of the season. Manchester United won, Chelsea felt hard done by, whilst the officials walked away with the tag 'Shocking' written all over their face. As much as this match excited with some pieces of magic, Nani's all round play and Torres' sublimely finished goal, and some absolute shockers, Rooney's penalty, Torres' open goal miss and Ashley Cole's horror tackle on Chcharito, the FA cannot look at this match and be proud of what they saw, yet, as usual, they're doing nothing about it.
First of all the debate about referees. Andre Villa-Boas is having a meeting with Mike Riley this week to discuss his issues in the match on sunday, I would say fair play if Riley were to do something about it. He won't, and we'll see Phil Dowd in control of another Premiership match this weekend. Is that right? Is that fair? If a player has a poor game does it go unnoticed by the manager? It doesn't, so why are referees performance going unnoticed by the governing body? Human error can only be used an excuse so far until you have to turn around and say, that guy does not know what he's doing. A committee should be properly re viewing every referees performance and marking them for every good/bad decision they make in a match. The more bad decisions, the worse games you get and the more good decisions then get you the big games. Until that is done, the referees will feel as safe as they feel now in their positions and these poor decisions will continue to occur.
Unfortunately, some of the rules made by the FA have made it difficult for referees at times, ie the Ashley Cole situation with Hernandez. The rules state if the ball is out of play the referee cannot give a penalty, that is a ridiculous rule and was shown for all to see on sunday when Cole was booked but no penalty was given. First of all Cole should have seen red as it was a disgraceful tackle, but secondly a penalty should have most definately been given. If a player rounds a goalkeeper and is taken down as the ball goes out of play, is the 'keeper ever yellow/red card without the penalty being given? No. Did Hernandez gain an advantage by not getting a penalty? No. If a player was standing in the box before a corner kick was taken and I was kicked would the referee give a penalty, even though the ball is out of play? Yes. So what's different, why make ridiculous rules that confuse referees even more? It's just another typical stand by FIFA and the FA.
After all is said and done, and the managers get their say on the situations, what repercussions are there for Ashley Cole to face? "The FA will be taking no further action on the matter". Why? Once the referee deals with the situation on the pitch, no further action can be taken" (a rule made by FIFA, the most corrupt organisation in the world). What example does this set now? If, say Charlie Adam, goes out and makes a leg breaking challenge, gets booked, then he faces no further action? Is this organisation actually being serious? Or is it just because it's Ashley Cole and he can do what he likes? If it was Rooney you'd probably be talking about a 5 match ban. Did Ben Thatcher not have a yellow card upgraded to a red a few years ago? Is this being done because Villa-Boas has decided to challenge the referees so they've decided to leave Cole off? So many questions to be answered but not one of those cowards from the FA will directly answer them.
It's time for a change. Former players should be in charge, not suits that know nothing about the game. Our game is being destroyed by cheats and poor decision making, and there isn't one thing the FA, UEFA, or FIFA are doing about it. Until things change, expect more leg breaking tackles, offside goals, diving, swearing at referees (although can you blame them sometimes?) and managers going grey at the thoughts of having Phil Dowd in control of their next game.
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