Football

Sergio Aguero challenge highlights outdated FA rules

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Aguero apologised to David Luiz earlier this week (©GettyImages)
Aguero apologised to David Luiz earlier this week (©GettyImages).

Crimes are punished and should be punished. It does not take a lot of reasoning to come to this conclusion. 

During the FA Cup semi-final clash between Manchester City and Chelsea the spectators inside the stadium, and around the world, saw a horrible loss of coolness and judgment from City striker Sergio Aguero when he decided to lunge a two-footed stamp on Chelsea's David Luiz.

What instigated this furious action from the usually calm Aguero is unknown. Some people point to the Argentina-Brazil rivalry, while others argue that Luiz had it coming by the way he had been physically marking Aguero throughout the match.

Whatever be the cause for that ugly challenge, Aguero's actions cannot - and should not - be justified under any pretext, especially when television replays prove that it was a deliberate foul by Aguero.

Whether referee Chris Foy caught the pushing and shoving immediately before the stomp but failed to notice it, or deemed the stomp merely a foul warranting no further punishment, does not make any difference in the role the FA had to play in the immediate aftermath of the incident - deciding not to punish either Aguero or Foy.

If, as the FA stated, Foy saw a part of the incident but did not see the stomp itself, that excuses Foy from further scrutiny and criticism. It is, in fact, commendable on the FA's part to take the heat off its referees and divert the attention towards itself. This helps protect the integrity and confidence of the referees and embodies that well-known principle that referees are the most respectable figure on the field of play.

Having taken the blame away from Foy, owing to the fact that he failed to completely see the incident, the FA's reason not to punish Aguero any further is an extreme example of discrepancy in the FA's rulebook.

Leaving aside the earlier precedents, the moral equivalent of the FA's decision can be summed up in one sentence: respect the referee's calls, but cheat behind his eyes as much as you want.

Perhaps it is because of this absurdness of the FA's principles that referees and players are more and more distrustful towards each other in modern football. Players are more inclined to try and deceive the referee to gain calls in their favour; and referees, being only human, are prone to more errors in the same proportion as players are prone to fake dives and injuries.

No fan of the game itself would be, by any means, in favour of instant replays and scrutinising referees as soon as they make any disputed call.  A factor that makes football special in comparison to other sports is the non-stop action it provides over a duration of 45 minutes.

It is played in its own rhythm, like a musician playing his instrument. Artificial breaks and unnecessary procedures only serve to hinder this prospect of non-stop exciting football. Nevertheless, the advancement in technologies could be embraced in ways which serve to minimise and eradicate human errors. If Aguero, or any other player, knew that he was going to be punished for his tackle, whether the referee sees it or not, he would have thought long and hard about executing that tackle, and probably would never have committed the foul.

Similarly, no club condones its players for horrible tackles as such, especially when the outcome of match is at stake by the recklessness of one player. Also, the prospect of not having that player available for selection for further games instigates the clubs to discourage such erratic behaviour from its players.

Thus, if the FA had the provision for retrospective punishments, the cases of Callum McManaman and Aguero would not have created so much furore against the FA and the referee.

Moreover, such incidents would likely have never occurred - or, at least, would not occur as frequently as we see them in modern football.

But the FA choosing to ignore such a simple solution to growing cases of mistrust and cheating in football only seems to be fuelling the unwanted scandals in the sport. This is madness on the FA's part and it must stop.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

 

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Sergio Aguero
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