Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pardew cleared, Sankofa ban doubled

Alan Pardew has been cleared of a charge of improper conduct in relation to his touchline row with Arsene Wenger, but the ban on Osei Sankofa for his red card has been doubled on the grounds that the appeal was frivolous.

This decision has obviously annoyed many of the Addickted. My view is that the original decision was harsh and this decision is also harsh. Indeed, it seems that the player is being penalised for the actions of the club.

That does not mean that the appeal was necessarily well advised. I've had a look at the Fifa approved book on soccer laws and it is clear that an attempt to deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity is serious foul play and that the offender must be dismissed and a penalty kick awarded if the offence occurred inside the penalty area.

It has been argued that Van Persie was offside and that therefore a free kick should have been awarded to us, but I don't recall seeing an offside flag being raised. In any case, one can't appeal against an offside decision. It's arguable that the real problem is that the relatively inexprienced Sankofa misjudged the situation. What is beyond dispute is that he committed a foul: the argument is about whether he should have got a yellow card rather than a red.

This was only the second time this season that the FA Commission has imposed an additional penalty for what they regarded as a frivolous claim. The other one was just a day before the Sankofa claim was heard and was also in relation to a player being dismissed for 'denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity'. The player in this case was Nick Fenton of Grimsby and he also got an additional one match suspension for appealing.

In any event there's not much that can be done about what is undoubtedly a harsh decision.


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