This is one of those days when I wish I’d gotten into backgammon instead.
I have an opinion about the refereeing decision last night in Manchester United’s round of 16 second leg loss to Real Madrid.
It’s pretty simple: most referees would probably have given a caution to Nani for his high boot to the upper body of Alvaro Arbeloa, rather than showing him a red card. That said however, referee Cuneyt Cakir was well within the purposefully vague boundaries of the FIFA Laws in sending the Manchester United winger off. On the rule of what constitutes “excessive force” worthy of a red card, the Laws have this to say:
“Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.”
Which is about as clear as a bag of potatoes, but there is certainly a reasonable case to be made that Nani jamming his foot in mid air with Arbeloa’s frame directly in his path falls within this definition. Anyway, here’s what the laws don’t say:
“The red card shall be shown only if the opponent is badly injured.”
“The red card shall be shown only if there is a clear intent to injure.”
“The red card shall not be shown if the game is exciting with everything hanging in the balance.”
“The red card should only be shown if it accords with the conventions of the domestic league of the nation in which the game is being played, particularly England.”
“The team to whom the red card is shown should defensively capitulate and allow at least two goals.”
“Only those who have ‘played the game’, which includes everything from rec soccer to the Premier League, shall be judged fit to correctly interpret whether the call in question was correct.”
Trust me, they’re not there. I’ve checked over and over and I can’t find them. You might hate the decision, you might think it’s a conspiracy against everything that’s good and holy in the world, but there isn’t a lawyer in the world who’s going to argue this case with the Laws being what they are. Sucks the bag, but that’s our silly sport.
Anyway, Dortmund won!
Joe Cole says playing for Liverpool was a mistake, regrets decision.
SAF silence says it all.
Reina urges Liverpool board to invest in better players.
Celtic’s manager praying for a miracle.
Bologna haven’t made a decision on the future of Diamanti, will wait until season ends.
Valdes suspended for four games.
Simeone extends contract with Atletico.
Huntelaar may end career with Schalke 04.
Klopp reflects on last night’s victory.
Bit and Bobs
When players take justice into their own hands. Lebanese referee is chased and abused on the pitch.
Interested in buying Messi’s golden foot? (Didn’t he just say a day ago he had no ego?)
Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.