Tuesday, 30 October 2007

FFA judiciary is a joke

Today the Football Federation Australia Match Review Panel decided to give Melbourne Victory defender Steve Pantelidis an additional two match ban on top of the mandatory one match ban for receiving a red card that he received during Friday night's match against the Newcastle Jets. With the benefit of hindsight there is no doubt that Pantelidis probably deserved the red card for his actions but to add another two weeks to his suspension seems to be a bit heavy handed. Surely, the panel has some access to video footage which clearly shows the provocation that Pantelidis was under plus the fact that his elbow or upper arm clearly hits Griffiths in the upper chest area. Plus it should have been clear in any replay that Griffiths milked the incident for all it was worth.

When you consider this incident against another a number of others this year there seems to be some sort of double standard. Two examples spring to mind, first being the two footed challenge by Danny Tiatto off the ball on Richie Alagich that had the potential to break a leg. Tiatto for his efforts received an one match suspension along with a suspended sentence of one match. Surely a more dangerous or violent act than the Pantelidis' incident. The second example that comes to mind is the non-suspension of Joel Griffiths for striking a linesman. The
Football Federation Australia Match Review Panel hid behind the FIFA ruling that if a yellow card is issued then no further action can be taken. The only reason that Griffiths only received a yellow card was that our favourite referee at the moment, Matthew Breeze didn't have the balls to send him off. In any other code the striking of a referee or umpire is considered a serious offence and warrants lengthy suspensions.

It appears the FFA judiciary or Match Review Panel as it likes to be called, needs to set out clear guidelines for additional suspensions as there is a feeling of inconsistency and irregularity to its rulings and it is slowly turning into a bit of a joke. It is also my hope that the Victory administration appeals this decision and makes the Match Review Panel look even more sillier than it already does.


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