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Evra Ban Highlights Flaws In Disciplinary System
Independent, December 22nd, 2008 12:30PM

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The English Football Association's full report on the incident involving Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and the ground staff of Chelsea FC last April is well worth reading in full at the FA's website, writes Sam Wallace. "In parts it reads like the average fight outside a kebab shop on a Friday night in a provincial town," he says, "only told through the eyes of P.G. Wodehouse writing on commission for Nuts magazine."

Entertainment aside, the report also "gives an extraordinary insight into the problems of dispensing justice in these situations," he writes. Evra received a four-game ban and a £15,000 ($22,000) fine, and deservedly so it seems. But how does it compare with the three-game ban that Chelsea striker Didier Drogba received for throwing a coin into the crowd during his team's home League Cup game with Burnley, "an act that was reckless and had much greater potential to injure an innocent person than fighting a bloke on a lawnmower ever did"?

Or what about the the three-game ban for violent conduct that Newcastle United's Danny Guthrie received for breaking the leg of Hull City's Craig Fagan in September? Because of FIFA guidelines, the FA is powerless to extend the automatic three-match ban that came with the red card. The flaw in the disciplinary system is that it "cannot distinguish between a tackle that might end a career, and a silly fight where the worst thing that happens is someone ends up with a sore ear."

 

 

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