Manchester United: Thank God for the FA

Andrew WhittakerCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2008

The English Football Association has once again managed to surprise and astonish every Manchester United fan around the globe. Me included.

It seems to me that the FA tries to make examples out of Manchester United's players and staff as often as they can. Simultaneously, other clubs (emphasis on Chelsea FC), seem to steer clear of "God's hand," even if their crimes are more serious.

Before any of you begin to criticize my arguments, with the usual "You're just a one-dimensional United fan," I would just like to say: Yes I am. But it happens that I have the facts to prove my points.

That being said, you all probably know why I am writing this article today, and why I am so sorely disappointed with the FA.

To those who are not aware, here it is:

As Chelsea had won a possible title-deciding game over Manchester United in April, Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes, and the lads were doing their weekly warm-down.

Sam Bethell, the groundsman at Stamford Bridge, asked the players to get off the park. Apparently, the players initially refused to do this, as it is very normal to use the actual ground to warm down.

Sam Bethell then, according to both Evra and Mike Phelan, used racial language to abuse Patrice. The players got into a hassle with the Chelsea staff, the security, and a couple of other players such as the England captain, who thought he was right to come and have a say.

Later, pictures came that showed Bethell holding his right hand back towards Evra, whilst being held by several security guards.

This was what happened, and it is of course obvious that the matter is so important that it should be discussed throughout the year (not really).

However, the incident itself is not the talking point; Patrice Evra was a few days ago charged with "violent behaviour" and fined 15.000£ and a four-match ban.

This is unfair to the player, the club, the supporters, and the other clubs of the league, who, of course believe that they live under a set of rules that applies to everyone.

Everyone, but Manchester United.

Let me start out by refreshing your memory: Chelsea-Burnley. Drogba was substituted into the game and scored a goal. A Burnley supporter threw a coin at him, where after he picked it up and threw it back into the crowd.

This is a break of the professional boundaries. What if he had hit a 10-year-old boy? I was disgusted. Result from the FA: a three-match ban.

So the FA thought that Evra's incident was worse than openly throwing a coin into a crowd?

A similar episode was Martin Keown's infamous celebration of when Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a penalty-kick in 2003. Keown rushed over, pushed van Nistelrooy, and shouted from the top of his lungs right into his ears. Other Arsenal players joined afterwards, but Keown stood out. Result from the FA: a three-match ban.

The absolute worst, most disgusting thing the FA have ever done is charging Rio Ferdinand after he missed a drug test.

I do agree it was stupid of Ferdinand to miss the test, however, he took it immediately afterwards and passed. Result from the FA: an eight-month ban and 50.000£. (He missed half a season, including the Euro 2004 competition.)

Not soon afterwards, in September 2004, Chelsea player Adrian Mutu failed the same test and was proven positive of cocaine-use. Result from the FA: a seven-month ban and 20.000£.

When I found out about this, I was absolutely disgusted. This is the worst piece of work the FA has ever done. And they do not really seem to hide the fact that they hate Manchester United, do they?

I would personally love to have a serious conversation with the board of the Football Association, but I doubt they will listen to a string of abusive swear words from an angry scouser.  

What is your opinion of the FA? Have they acted correctly in these matters?


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