Under Fire: Mark Clattenburg
There have been several high profile refereeing errors over the past few weeks.
These include David Luiz not being sent off in the Chelsea vs. United game, Nemanja Vidic being sent off in the very same game, the elbow by Wayne Rooney and the subsequent lack of action by the FA.
Yesterday, there were also some equally shocking challenges and decisions—specifically the "tackles" by Carragher, Rafael and Rodriguez.
Now, I'm not writing this to debate if these decisions were the correct ones (or not), but rather to debate how to prevent them from being made again.
The common factor in these decisions is that even though the actions of the players were clearly wrong, there was no action taken—a clear miscarriage of justice.
First of all, I don't think that putting physical rules in place to stop such tackles is the right way to go—if Michel Platini had his way, for example, our sport would be semi-contact.
This would obviously not happen because it would utterly destroy the spectacle of the game, but the threat of putting stricter parameters in place does exist and if the whistle is being blown every minute, that too could destroy the spectacle.
Therefore, I think allowing the players to continue using their own discretion is still the way to go.
Obviously, it doesn't always work: Rooney clearly thought it was a necessary to elbow McCarthy, and Carragher felt the sickening nature of his challenge on Nani was within the laws of the game.
But if the referee misses the incident, or if he thinks it is not as bad as it was (as in these two cases), there is nothing that the footballing authorities can do to punish that player.
Obviously, a referee should always be involved to make the game run as smoothly as possible and make decisions based on what he sees.
However, the FA should be able to overrule these decisions.
The reason they don't now is to give the referees some "respect" and credibility—they feel changing the referees' decisions retrospectively would make them look weak.
They don't want people constantly questioning their decisions.
The fact of the matter though is that, no matter what, people still will.
Besides, why shouldn't you be able to question and appeal a decision that is wrong?
Not wanting to overrule a referee to stop him from looking weak is poor logic—everyone knows football is an all-action game where mistakes can be made, so people can accept these.
However, refusing to correct them only intensifies the spotlight on an official and makes him look even weaker.
A committee, similar to the "dubious goal panel," should be set up to review all the questionable decisions during the weekend's play. This committee should be able to hand retrospective punishment to players who were not given the appropriate sanction at the time by the referee.
This would not only discourage players from diving, committing horrific challengers and getting involved with off the ball incidents, but will also remove the media spotlight put on referees.
I think this is a win-win situation for the FA, Fifa or whoever has the power to implement something like this.
Football is crying out for it.
What do you think?
Can anything be done to spot these miscarriages of justice?
Have a look at my blog at http://notsosupersub.blogspot.com/, new post today.