Working at the English Football Association must be such a difficult life. Setting up fixtures, preparing the odd friendly for the national team each year and occasionally fining a player for violent conduct. OK, I’m sure the FA do a bit more work than that, but they seemingly have no time to spend on a Monday evening, or any time of the week for that matter and review the weekend’s action.
This week alone, 5 significant incidents occurred that the FA have seemingly turned a blind eye too, leaving fans losing even more faith in them. Here are the 5 incidents I believe the FA should have gone back, reviewed and handed a fine and suspension to:
Ashley Cole’s Twitter Outburst:
Ashley Cole has been charged with ‘improper conduct’ for his outburst on Twitter regarding John Terry’s suspension by the FA. It is still unknown whether Roy Hodgson will start the loyal England left back for Friday night’s qualifier against San Marino, but the FA are certainly taking their time in deciding what to do. In what is a perfect opportunity to make a stand on footballers’ behavior on Twitter the FA seemingly don’t know what to do.
Gareth Bale’s Dive:
A contender for of the worst dives ever, Gareth Bale took a tumble when chasing for a loose ball before Aston Villa’s goalkeeper Brad Guzan. The Welsh winger beat Guzan by a couple of yards in reaching the ball and threw himself straight to the floor. It left the American goalkeeper laughing and every non-Totttenham fan swearing. No card was shown to Bale and as of Monday evening the FA have not taken action or said they will be taken any action on the dive. A fine for this behaviour isn’t going to be a deterrent. Hand Bale a suspension and this dive will never happen again.
Robert Huth’s Stamp:
In a tangle with Luis Suarez that left the Uruguayan on the floor, Stoke’s big German centre back blatantly stamped on the downed opponent. He avoided any punishment on the pitch by referee Lee Mason and on Monday the FA have said they will not be taking any action. Basically, Premier League footballers have permission to stamp on downed opponents behind the referees back and can expect no fine or no suspension as a result. It’s hideous. The defender deserves a minimum 3 match ban, and to be honest, a bit longer for his on-field assault.
Luis Suarez’s Dive:
In the same game as Huth’s incident this weekend, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez took his 30th tumble of the season. Or have I lost count. Another lame, desperate, laughable attempt by the Uruguayan to win a penalty for his side who failed to score in open play or any set piece during the 90 minutes. It’s one sure to make future videos of comical dives, but some fans aren’t laughing. The FA on Monday have also said they will take no action on this dive which went unpunished on the pitch. Suarez is free to attempt this or another dive in an attempt to cheat his opponents into giving Liverpool a penalty.
Robin van Persie Elbow:
During a 3-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday, the Manchester United striker elbowed Yohan Cabaye off the ball. Unnoticed by referee Howard Webb, the FA have once again turned a blind eye to an on-field assault. Wayne Rooney was let off scot-free two seasons ago for a similar incident against Wigan Athletic. Perhaps if he was suspended for it, van Persie would have had second thoughts about doing this? How the FA can let van Persie go unpunished for this is beyond me. It’s a minimum 3 match ban if you ask me. Minimum.
The FA’s actions, or lack of actions this week is letting our beautiful game get out of hand. None of the last four who are getting let off are English so that throws one old excuse out of the window. Two of them don’t play for a top four side, so there’s no favours for being successful there.
I cannot believe the FA have not hired a group of former, recently retired ex-Premier League footballers to review incidents such as these on a Sunday evening, maybe Monday or even Tuesday and advise the FA on recommended suspensions and fines for these players and there actions. Gary Neville, Robbie Savage, Ray Parlour, Gareth Southgate are 4 names alone who have all played at the top level of English football, retired in recent years and remain in the game in some way or another who I’m confident would offer their services for a couple of hours (if that) to review these incidents. They know what goes on on the pitch. They know the intentions of these players. They know what a dive is. But sadly, the FA don’t want to improve the fans viewing of the English Premier League.