Soccer: Martin Taylor deserves more than just a 3 match suspension.

Yahya RisasCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2008


In an ideal football game, two yellow cards amount to a red card and a suspension from the next two games.  In the case of a straight red card it is usually 3 games suspension.

But shouldn’t there be extra punishment for grave offences?

Imagine, a player that ends a fellow player’s career with a serious tackle getting the same punishment with one who pushes the referee away or is involved in a fist fight with other players, is there any justice?

This season, the English Football Association has tried to clamp down on two footed tackles with referees given strict rules to brandish a red card every time a two-footed challenge has been made.

Already, players like Ricardo Carvalho, Mikel Obi, have been dismissed for those challenges.

In the case of Carvalho’s tackle on Gabriele Agbonlahor, he deserved the red card and a 3 game suspension that ensued but for Martin Taylor to get the same punishment, is completely nonsensical.

The guy broke Eduardo da Silva’s leg in three places, and every one is going on with normal service while some have the audacity to say Taylor “isn’t malicious and that he has no violent bone in his body”.

This to me is “murder” in football!

As long as the crime is committed the culprit is charged with murder and jail beckons there after.

Whether it’s a first timer or not, unless the defending council pleads self-defence, I don’t think Martin Taylor can use that get-out- of- jail card because this was St. Andrews, a football pitch not a battle field or gladiator park.

In the heat of the moment, Arsene Wenger said, “Martin Taylor should not play football again,” which to me is too harsh a punishment.

If the tackle is to end Eduardo’s playing career why should Taylor continue playing? Though Wenger retracted his statement, I feel he should have stood by it.

People may find it hard to believe that Eduardo forgave Taylor, but even Moses was willing to forgive the remorseless Pharaoh.

Players should know that it’s not only a matter of winning football games, but also a matter of life, career and family. Some of the tackles made are violent and life threatening. 

It is players like Martin Taylor who deprived the world of geniuses like Marco van Basten and Sebastian Diesler.

Imagine if Eduardo was English and he was leading the Three Lions to the euro championships in the summer and Taylor was a foreigner, would the English be going on about ‘non-malicious’ intent?

Any one remember Pedro Aldo Duscher who broke Beckham’s third metatarsal before the world cup and how he was castigated by the English press, or Alpay who was forced out of Aston villa because of the tunnel fight he had with Beckham in a world cup qualifier?

Is it that there are different rules applying to foreigners in the English premiership or is it a way of trying to limit the number of foreigners in the league?

Imagine if the premiership was deprived of players like Ronaldo, Fabregas, Torres, and Berbatov and it remained only with players like Wright Philips, Aaron Mokoena, Kenwyn Jones and Marlon Harewood.

Would it be the global brand it is right now?

Instead of teaching young footballers the finer details of football like finesse and intelligent play, there is too much emphasis on huffing, puffing and gang ho approach to games.

You cant believe how hard players like Wes brown, Steven Gerard, Joey Barton, Allan Smith, Robbie Savage, and Nicky Butt go in on players to win the ball, yet players like Javier Mascherano, Andrea Pirlo, Daniele de Rossi are excellent ball winners, with out necessarily going in hard on others because they know the brain as a powerful organ and tend to utilise it to greater efficiency.

So whether there is malicious intent or not, as long as a player breaks a leg because of an opponent's challenge, let the length of ban be longer than that of a normal red card offence.

Maybe a period of 10 games could be fair enough. FIFA should also try to look at some of the rules that govern the beautiful game.

Imagine a player gets injured and needs touchline treatment leaving his team a man down, is it fair?

Why doesn’t the offender also go out until the injured player gets back to his feet and then on to the pitch?

I thought FIFA was so intent on fair play. They even have a fair player and team of the year award.

Ironic, isn’t it?