Sweet FA for Mario Balotelli but Derry red card stands

Apr 11, 2012
Bill Mann

'Who's making these decisions at the FA,' asks Lineker as anger mounts at perceived injustice

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TO WIDESPREAD astonishment, the Football Association has announced it won't be punishing Mario Balotelli for his horrendous challenge on Arsenal's Alex Song on Sunday.

The Manchester City forward caught Song with a reckless studs-up tackle during the Sky Blues 1-0 defeat to the Gunners and referee Martin Atkinson somehow deemed the challenge legal. Yet Atkinson did spot two other wild tackles from Balotelli that resulted in a stoppage time dismissal for the 21-year-old Italian striker.

On Monday evening the FA released a statement in which they said Atkinson had made mention of the Song tackle in his official match report, leaving them powerless to act. "Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge," ran the statement.

"Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the match officials saw the players coming together. The normal scenarios in which retrospective action is taken are for 'off the ball' incidents."

The news will come as a surprise to Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini who had been bracing himself to be without Balotelli for the rest of the season. But instead of facing a nine-match ban for violent misconduct, Balotelli will only sit out the matches against West Bromwich Albion, Norwich and Wolves as he serves his punishment for the two yellow cards.

In a further twist, however, the FA declared that the red card Queens Park Rangers midfielder Shaun Derry received at the weekend will stand. Derry got his marching orders against Manchester United though television replays showed he barely made contact (above) with Ashley Young in conceding a dubious penalty.

"Shaun Derry red card stands," tweeted Gary Lineker, the former England captain turned BBC presenter. "Who makes these decisions at the FA? Have they any feeling for the game? Beggars belief at times."

Talksport pundit and former West Ham captain Alvin Martin echoed Lineker's thoughts, saying: "The game now has officially gone mad. It's gone potty. We have seen petty offences… being punished with players sent off. Then we see a really serious offence, in view of everyone I would have thought, and no action has been taken."

The decision not to rescind Derry's red card (thereby ruling him out of tonight's clash with Swansea) was met with fury by Rangers officials, with the club's assistant manager Mark Bowen saying: "We felt if a penalty was given and we were without the player for 75 minutes then that warranted enough punishment… Something's wrong somewhere, everyone who saw the incident felt we were hard done. We go into a vital game without him."

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The time has come for top managers and supporters groups to get together to demand that all these 'fraudulant' decisions be taken by a panel of ex players and supporters. The word bent is not nice but recently and every year, a couple of teams are given (impossible)  penalties which leave them facing 10 men teams, and favourable decisions that give them a massive edge. The FA and quite a few of their officials (refs and linesmen) get away with distorting our wonderful game in favour of a few very rich clubs who consistantly win trophies via money and what some would call 'luck' but i would define as corruption. In the past two weeks...Manchester United and Chelsea have been given outrageous decisions in their favour which have changed the course of the title race and possible entry into Europe...both worth millions. Sadly it has been accepted by millions of supporters that United have considerable control over the FA...why we have no idea, but as the records show the FA's management and co-ordination skill are pathetic ie; England Manager's appointment etc. Will things change NO! Why, because it needs the backing of all associations and the press, and just look at the support given to these same teams by the press. So, in a nutshell...we know nothing will happen. We know that our game is partially bent. We know that the FA have the perfect initials as it sums up their ability to run our game.

Pete, the FA believes they are running the best league in the world and there do as they please. They should catch a wake up as the best league in the world is La liga- Spain. 7 teams in the semi's of the European competitions. The league may be dominated by Barca / Real every year, but it then also casts a shadow on the capabilities of the Premier league clubs if the 3 also rans in Spain could qualify for the semi's. The FA should look at uplifting the game in England and not demoralise clubs with silly decisions which ultimately have a bearing on these clubs Premier league status.

We are now living in the 21st century. It look like the English FA are in 20th or ven 19th century. Television video replay show very clearly Baletolli using his studs on Song. Shaun Derry foul warrant only a yellow and Ashley Young should be yellow too for play acting (or in the meaness words cheating the official).Millions of people around the world can see the foul on tv and even on youtube. Police can even charge a person base on youtube video why can the FA do the same. Probably the government body should get tough on the FA. It look as though the FA decide who should be champion and who should be relegated.

The FA is a bit crazy.

It's the peoples game, the technology is here to allow the people to decide.
Give the game back to the people and away from these cliquey old school boys, that are more concerned about control and face, than the game itself.
There is nothing wrong with saying "sorry, I made a mistake", or "we uphold this because ....." , but to ignore it and ignore the people that are requesting some kind of justification to the decision being made is straight up insulting.

Well well well, at last Man Utd did not get the rub of the green at Wigan - but regrettably this just allows Sir Alex to take a holier than thou approach to other decisions, like the abysmal A Young / S Derry affair. No doubt that Balotelli is a vicious b##tard, but at least he got punished. It is just not right that a decent bloke like Derry has been punished and a diving cheat like Young (and Man Utd) walk away clean

Ashley Young dived - he cheated.

He's not the only one of course, plyers do it week in week out.

Camera's offer the FA / UEFA / FIFA the opportunity to retrspectively ban players for cheating. Not a perfect solution i know, but if they started to do it, thet i would suggest that very quickly clubs, managers and payers would smell the coffee and not do it.

Currently we have spineless administrators running scared of big clubs who in turn, have lost sight of the concept of a sporting challenge, if by cheating they don't get penalised.

Why does anyone out there want to pay money to watch this stuff ? 

So if the officials had made a note of Rooney swearing into the camera a few months back he wouldn't of been banned?  So the rule is if you do something that the ref didn't see, tell him but in a watered down way, he makes a note and you get away with it. 

Am I right in saying that the FA chairman is ex-City chairman? If I am then maybe that is the answer.