A day after Wigan player Callum McManaman escaped retrospective punishment for his horror tackle on Newcastle United’s Massadio Haidara, is the FA’s disciplinary process fit for purpose?

Haidara was stretchered off after the incident in Sunday's Premier League game at the DW Stadium, but due to the fact that referee Mark Halsey witnessed the incident, the FA were unable to take any further action. 

A statement from the FA said: "Where one of the officials has seen a coming together of players, no retrospective action should be taken, regardless of whether he or she witnessed the full or particular nature of the challenge. This is to avoid the re-refereeing of incidents."

Newcastle’s managing director Derek Llambias accused the system as being “not fit for its purpose” and, based on this debacle, I am inclined to agree.

This latest episode may lead to a revision of the official rules of the game at the end of the season.

However, since the game, the incident has been scrutinised from every possible angle and it begs the question: why can’t the FA take advantage of the technology at its disposal to avoid incidents such as this? 

It has been confirmed that the Premier League will be using goal-line technology next season, which is no doubt a breakthrough for the use of technology in football. But is it enough? 

Is it too ambitious to ask for technology to be used for other incidents in the game as well? Would stopping play for a few seconds to review a decision really disrupt the game that much? I don’t think so.

And If you look at other sports such as rugby, tennis and cricket, the use of technology has been welcomed with open arms and has undoubtedly improved the officiating of the game. 

As well as ensuring a correct decision is made, technology could serve to take pressure off referees and other officials, which in turn could lead to more respect towards officials on and off the pitch from players and fans.

Unfortunately, I do not see technology being used to this extent in the near future. 

And if there is one thing the time taken to install goal-line technology has taught us, it is that FIFA and other governing bodies strive to retain the traditional values of the sport as opposed to incorporating technological advancements for the all-round improvement of the game.


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