Sunday, September 09, 2007


The Video Refusers, Part 2

Andrew Orsatti, you may recall, recently made the not unreasonable request that, whatever sanctions we invoke against players for violent conduct after the fact, we should remain FIFA compliant in doing so. His concern is that the FFA may be acting outside FIFA regulations in suspending players for incidents that referees have noticed, but ignored.

I’m not sure this is the case, though. The well-publicized FIFA clampdown on the increasing use of video technology took the form of a circular missive to national federations in 2002; the story is detailed here.

Notice the following:

The decision to prevent referees from taking a second look at controversial incidents after a game is seen as a shock move.


It states: "The referee may only change a decision on realizing that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee, provided that he has NOT restarted play."

That’s right. The referee. But what about the administrative body concerned?

A quibble? Perhaps. I certainly doubt whether FIFA intended to leave such a loophole, since the import of their statements around that time seemed to be that the referee’s decisions were sacrosanct. But I can’t actually see why a review of contentious incidents by a judiciary panel, even incidents upon which the ref has already (presumably) passed judgement, would contravene FIFA’s edicts on the matter.

In the converse situation, of course, there is currently no room for a review (although there should be).

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