NEWPORT, Wales (Reuters) - The English FA would have been within its rights to sanction Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney following an elbowing incident last week, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Saturday.
The FA said it could not retrospectively take action against Rooney for elbowing Wigan Athletics' James McCarthy in the back of the head in a Premier League match because, under FIFA rules, as referee Mark Clattenburg had already given a foul against the England man for obstruction, they could take no further action. ...
See the complete story here, courtesy of Reuters.
Kicking Back Comments: For my money Sepp has this one exactly right. There is no reason that a league should not jump in to further sanction a player, even if that player was already dealt with by the match referee. The FA's move to not further sanction Rooney for delivering an elbow to McCarthy is deplorable. Then to further compound the story by saying that they were really just protecting the integrity of the decision of Mark Clattenburg is just cowardice on the part of the FA.
Granted, no referee likes to have such a situation occur that the league has to step in and take further action. In my day it happened to me personally a couple of times. When I got over myself that I should have seen the whole incident and dealt with it differently ... the bigger picture prevailed. That picture was it was better to get it right than to just let it go.
As referees we certainly try to get it right all the time. But alas, sometimes we miss ... not often but we do. At the professional and international level while there is great scrutiny of referees, there is also great opportunity for leagues to stamp out the type of behavior Roo engaged in here. Leagues can also mete out much harsher punishment that a referee ever could, and really put some bite into a sanction.
I'm with Sepp, and say let them. Adding onto a particular sanction to further enforce a point started by a referee does nothing but drive that point home to the owner of the actions, and other players who may consider the same in the future.