Graham Poll: Time to Taylor rules in favour of fair decisions

07 March 2009 12:07
I have given the FA and, in particular, their disciplinary department plenty of criticism in the past for their failure to support referees. Just yesterday I highlighted that the suspension tariff for red-card offences should be replaced with a sliding scale which also adheres to FIFA's insistence that a player who gets a red card must serve a one-match suspension. There is an exception and that is when a referee looks at an incident and asks the FA not to suspend the player as he feels he issued the wrong card often due to the pressure of the situation. The problem with that, of course, is that it relies on the referee having the ability to be objective and see his errors. After Steve Bennett's refusal to see Steven Taylor's challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo as a red card I can understand the reluctance on the FA's part to leave the review in the referee's hands, and would not be surprised to see this aspect of the disciplinary procedure changed so that the FA can charge players without a referee's agreement but with solid video evidence. On Wednesday evening Taylor struck Ronaldo with his arm and while the Portugal winger's reaction did not appear consistent with the offence, he was still struck. Remember the Jeremy Aliadiere tap on Javier Mascherano's cheek last season for which he was dismissed and you cannot justify anything but a red card for Taylor. The FA compliance department, alerted by a report from the referee observer, Alan Wilkie, who was convinced that Taylor had a case to answer, asked Bennett to look at the video. Bennett said that Taylor's offence was only worthy of a yellow card and so, under the current system, he could not charge Taylor. I wonder what Mark Hughes and Shaun Wright-Phillips must be thinking after the Manchester City midfielder was charged for a petulant flick at Rory Delap after he had been felled by the Stoke man? Back to the red side of Manchester and United are frequently accused by the vast majority of football watchers of getting favourable treatment from referees and the FA. A couple of weeks ago Blackburn did not get what looked like a clear penalty late in the game at Old Trafford and Ronaldo got away with his 'Wright-Phillips' type of kicking out. However, compare those with Jonny Evans' clean goal being disallowed, Ronaldo being denied a clear penalty in last week's Carling Cup Final and no charge for Taylor for striking the World Player of the Year and you can see that United have certainly not had it all their own way despite beliefs to the contrary.   Q: Paul Draisey from Burnley asks: 'If a manager changes his mind about substituting a player, can he bring that substituted player back on again?' A: The rules are clear that once the substitute has entered the field, the player who has come off can take no further part. Did you know that. Nothing too serious can have occurred at St James' Park on Wednesday evening despite claims of a 'tunnel incident'. At the end of each half the referee and assistant furthest from the tunnel watch the players leaving the field to ensure that there is no misconduct on the field among the players, coaching staff and spectators. The other two match officials stand at either end of the tunnel for the same reason. Any players guilty of misconduct must be dealt with immediately and the appropriate card shown. This information is then relayed to the crowd and media via the PA system. The Bolton referee looks to be carrying an injury which has slowed him down this season yet he continues to officiate. He used to run about like a man possessed not so now, which is why many colleagues question his fitness. In their tough home fixture against high-flying Liverpool, Middlesbrough conceded their first free-kick in the 73rd minute and won the game 2-0 great respect for the laws and the referee.

Source: Daily_Mail