Date: 3rd December 2007 at 3:36pm
Written by:

After reading Amos’ excellent piece on refereeing and red cards, a thought occurred to me; should clubs be allowed to appeal FOR red cards as well as against.

Robbie Keane was sent from the field in a rather humorous, but controversial match at White Hart Lane yesterday. The tackle he committed has become somewhat of a talking point, but many seem to be coming down on the side of the Irishman.

Of course Spurs are set to appeal the decision, as most clubs would, but this brings up an interesting thought.

As we all know, the English Football Association is a stubborn bunch, ‘cowards’ some may say, but at the very least, a daft bunch. Rules implemented by this governing body say that any incident seen, and dealt with by the match official can NOT be pursued any further following the game, effectively calling their referees infallible.

However, rather hypocritically, there are rules in place that allow clubs who feel that red cards awarded to their players have done so harshly to appeal against this decision. Any player who have their red cards rescinded have effectively gotten the FA to admit their officials made a mistake.

So if the FA allow this, why not allow the reverse??

Whilst the Robbie Keane’s tackle was somewhat debatable, there was another tackle this weekend that wasn’t. As Liverpool put in another impressive display against struggling Bolton, former scouser, El-Haji Diouf committed one of the most horrendous tackles you will ever see on Liverpool’s Arbeloa.

In this instance the referee ‘saw’ the tackle and, rather amazingly, brandished a yellow card. If we are to follow the FA’s letter of the law, this issue is now dead. Even though it is quite clear that the tackle was a sending off offence (and, in my opinion, a further five match ban) the Football Association claim ‘their hands are tied’ (by their own stupid rules).

However, if under certain situations football clubs are allowed to call into question a refereeing decision to have a red card downgraded due to human error, surely it only be fair that Liverpool ask the FA to upgrade Diouf’s yellow card to a red, in the interest of continuity.

Or maybe the FA could just abolish this ridiculous ‘If he saw it, it’s dealt with’ rule.

Thoughts? Opinions? Ideas?