Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Do We Really Need Anymore Reason To Hate This ****???
C&P The Guardian
Jermain Defoe will escape further punishment for allegedly biting Javier Mascherano during Tottenham Hotspur's 1-0 victory over West Ham United on Sunday but the ensuing altercation between both sets of players will be subject to a fresh disciplinary investigation.
The Football Association last night confirmed that Fifa regulations prohibit it from taking subsequent action over an incident that was dealt with by a referee. Only if the incident constitutes an "exceptional case", such as Ben Thatcher's forearm smash on Portsmouth's Pedro Mendes, will it be reviewed. In that case the FA banned the Manchester City defender for eight games.
The FA broke these regulations in August last year when a disciplinary commission agreed to downgrade Jermaine Jenas' sending off - then as a Newcastle United player - against Arsenal to a yellow card. On that occasion the world governing body warned the FA that any future transgression would be unacceptable and, as Steve Bennett cautioned Defoe at the time of his clash with the Argentinian midfielder, a retrospective red card is beyond its power.
"There won't be any further action taken against Jermain Defoe because we are not able to take any," an FA spokesman said after Soho Square took an entire day to conclude its deliberations. "If a referee deals with an incident, which he did, we are not allowed to retrospectively take disciplinary action in terms of upgrading or downgrading cards.
"The only exception to that is in terms of a very serious case, such as that of Ben Thatcher, where if the offence is deemed to be such that even if he had been sent off it would have warranted a further charge. In such a situation we can then bring that further charge. I don't think anyone is suggesting that that is the case here."
It emerged last night that Bennett reported both Spurs and West Ham for their players' response to the Defoe-Mascherano incident, when all 20 outfield players converged on the referee. The FA will write to both clubs for explanations.
Television footage will be studied to see whether the clubs should face charges of failing to control their players, which carries a fine of up to £250,000.
Defoe was quick to defend himself but admitted his reaction was not out of character. "This has been blown out of all proportion. When the West Ham player fouled me I reacted in a bit of a mischievous way, my character is a little like that at times," he said before retracting the latter part of the statement.
"The referee was standing right over me and if he felt I had done anything bad he would have sent me off. The incident doesn't look great on TV and I accept that as a role model to kids I have a responsibility to conduct myself in the right way."
Despite initially insisting that a sending-off would have changed the game, the West Ham manager Alan Pardew confirmed that the club will not be lodging a complaint with the FA: "We've got nothing to say about it, Javier is fine, he bears no grudges and our focus is on the next match," he said.
Mascherano said receiving a bite was the worse thing that has happened to him since he came to England and he was surprised the referee did not send off Defoe. "Things were not going well for me but this was outrageous and unexpected. The strangest thing was the referee didn't send him off. He was beside me and yet he didn't take out the red card."