Bans in football are always a controversial subject.
Each crime is looked at individually but, when comparing the punishments, a lot of them don’t make a lot of sense.
For example, Joey Barton was given a 12-match ban when he lost his head for QPR against Manchester City. Barton got in a scuffle with Carlos Tevez, kneed Sergio Aguero and tried headbutting Vincent Kompany during that memorable match which saw City win the title in dramatic circumstances.
A year earlier, Luis Suarez was banned for just eight matches for being found racially abusing Patrice Evra.
Does kicking a few people doing no particular harm command a ban four matches longer than racism? Well, that’s what the FA decided.
While nothing can compare to the nine months that Eric Cantona received for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan, the FA are no strangers to handing out lengthy bans to players that have been found guilty committing an illegal act.
And they’ve done so once again this afternoon by banning Rochdale striker Calvin Andrew for 12 matches for elbowing Oldham’s Peter Clarke.
You may be thinking: ‘A 12 match ban for an elbow? That seems a bit harsh. Marouane Fellaini does that every match.’
Well, watch the footage and decide whether you think it’s harsh or not.
As you can see, Andrew smashes Clarke in the face with his elbow completely off the ball - something that wasn’t seen by the referee during Rochdale’s 1-0 victory last Saturday.
While violent conduct usually comes with a three-match ban, the independent disciplinary panel understandably decided that sanction was insufficient.
The former Crystal Palace player will now be absent until January after the FA handed one of their longest punishments in English football history - longer than the ban Suarez also received for biting Branislav Ivanovic.
We’re pretty sure nobody will be arguing about the length of this ban given the violent and dangerous nature of it. In fact, nobody would have been surprised if it had been even longer.