Chris Foy adds Manchester City to his list of wronged teams
The biggest criticism you can make of a referee, is that he overshadows games that he officiates. Chris Foy, through that phenomenon, is becoming the poster-child for the introduction of video technology.
Two red cards in the QPR against Chelsea game, a clusterfuck of ineptitude through Stoke/Tottenham, and today’s series of poor decisions at Etihad Stadium. In all of those fixtures, the points were decided by the referee rather than the players. Yet again in a match overseen by Foy, we’re talking more about him than we are the football.
It’s not the pace of the game that’s rendering officials in this country so inept, nor is it a lack of understanding of the rules; instead, it’s a lack of common sense in our referees combined with there being too much scope for objectivity in the rules.
Vincent Kompany’s tackle of Nani wasn’t the product of malice, because frankly he’s not that stupid. A Premier League defender and a captain of a club doesn’t make a ‘reckless’ tackle inside the first half-an-hour of a cup tie against his side’s most bitter rival. Now, he may very well mistime a tackle, but that’s a yellow card – unless he’s using ‘unnecessary aggression’ or denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, he should be staying on the pitch.
It’s almost too easy to criticise Chris Foy, so what really needs to happen is a clarification of the rules around tackling. If guidelines are being set, yet a group of referees in the same country still show dramatic variations in their interpretations of those guidelines, then it’s probably time for a rethink.
Spare a thought for the players – one game’s fair tackle is another’s straight red card. When pundits and fans talk about consistency, this is what they mean. Given how low the footballing IQs of our referees seem to be, surely it’s time to take the interpretation element out of the rules that govern contact between players.
At least clarify the situation, because all of a sudden a fundamental part of the game seems to have been clouded into a grey area – and it’s ruining games.
On a side note, I thought the way in which Vincent Kompany reacted to his red card was outstanding – a captain’s example. Other City players may have bawled and screamed over the decision, but the Belgian just accepted it – regardless of its controversy. That’s quite rare in football now.