GOVERNING BODY DECLARES IT WON’T “RE-REFEREE”:
Newcastle United has come out swinging.
The English Premier League club slammed a decision by the English Football Association on Tuesday for its failure to take disciplinary action against Wigan striker Callum McManaman after his horrific challenge on defender Massadio Haidara.
Most who witnessed the foul anticipated that McManaman would be charged with violent conduct when the FA reviewed his knee-high challenge in Sunday`s game.
The English Premier League club responded to the FA declaring the governing body’s disciplinary process was “not fit for purpose”.
Earlier in the day the FA had defended its decision of not taking retrospective action against McManaman with its own statement which declared it wanted to avoid what it called “re-refereeing”.
The announcement drew a quick response from the Magpies who were clearly astonished by the logic surrounding the decision:
“It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose. Newcastle United, along with other clubs, have had players suspended for incidents reviewed after the game. Whilst not trivialising these incidents, they were not, in our opinion, of the seriousness of Callum McManaman’s tackle on Haidara,” Newcastle Managing director Derek Llambias said in his statement.
The reaction to the decision captured headlines in major sports publications across England and the soccer world.
“FA give the middle finger to common sense”, The Daily Mail trumpeted while London newspaper The Times led their coverage with the headline “Newcastle up in arms after McManaman escapes ban.
Haidara was stretchered off the field in Sunday’s game. The studs-up, knee-high challenge made contact with Haida’s knee but wasn’t spotted by referee Mark Halsey and therefore McManaman went unpunished.
The Newcastle defender suffered suspected knee ligament damage on the play although an official injury report is still unavailable.
Referee Mark Halsey didn’t even award a free kick on the challenge while most observers expected an automatic red or yellow card to be awarded on the play.
Halsey told Newcastle coach Alan Pardrew at halftime that he never saw the tackle and therefore couldn’t have made a decision.
In its puzzling ruling on Tuesday, the FA indicated that the near-side linesman did see the foul so therefore no retrospective action could be taken against McManaman:
“Where one of the officials has seen a coming together of players, no retrospective action should be taken, regardless of whether he or she witnessed the full or particular nature of the challenge. This is to avoid the re-refereeing of incidents,” the FA statement read.
“In the case of McManaman, it has been confirmed that at least one of the match officials saw the coming together, though not the full extent of the challenge. In these circumstances retrospective action cannot be taken.”
The club also attacked the FA’s logic behind reaching its decision.
“Whilst we understand that the current procedures give the FA limited options, it cannot be correct that the most serious offences - those which have the potential to cause another player serious harm - can go unpunished, even if the original incident was seen by match officials,” the governing body said.
But the question still remains: If one of Halsey`s assistants spotted the play, why wasn’t the referee alerted to the seriousness of the foul with a raised flag or through their wireless communication devices?
In a stunning revelation also on Tuesday, ESPN and The Sun newspaper in England are reporting that Halsey has received death threats after the incident and is considering quitting his job.
The report also indicates Newcastle are could launch a law suit over the incident if Haida misses a significant time away from the game due to his injury.
Former EPL referee Graham Poll who writes a regular column with The Mail told TalkSport radio on Tuesday that Halsey should consider retirment.
“He’s been through a tough time in his life and no one wishes that on anyone. I just hope Mark looks at it and thinks: ‘Is it time? Is this a signal to go? Let’s bow out with some grace and dignity and go. It’s time for me to call it a day.'”
In an ironic twist of fate, The FA announced it will move forward with disciplinary action against Newcastle assistant coach John Carver.
Carver was ejected from the match after he confronted McManaman at halftime of Sunday’s game and needed to be restrained by Newcastle staff and match stewards.
Wigan coach Graham Barrow was also given his marching orders for his role in the confronation.
Carver and Newcastle have until Friday to issue a response to the FA’s charges.
RedCardTheRef would like have your opinion counted, so please take the time to vote in our latest poll:
Do you agree with the English Football Association's decision not to punish Callum McManaman for his knee-high tackle on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara?
- Yes (10%, 25 Votes)
- No (90%, 223 Votes)
Total Voters: 248
Who is the EPL's worst referee?
- Robert Madley (0%, 4 Votes)
- Simon Beck (1%, 9 Votes)
- Jonathan Moss (1%, 11 Votes)
- Anthony Taylor (1%, 13 Votes)
- Michael Oliver (2%, 14 Votes)
- Mike Jones (2%, 15 Votes)
- Roger East (2%, 15 Votes)
- Neil Swarbrick (2%, 17 Votes)
- Andre Marriner (3%, 28 Votes)
- Lee Mason (4%, 34 Votes)
- Lee Probert (4%, 34 Votes)
- Martin Atkinson (4%, 39 Votes)
- Mark Halsey (5%, 45 Votes)
- Phil Dowd (8%, 68 Votes)
- Mike Dean (8%, 70 Votes)
- Kevin Friend (9%, 79 Votes)
- Mark Clattenburg (18%, 161 Votes)
- Chris Foy (30%, 265 Votes)
- Howard Webb (31%, 276 Votes)
Total Voters: 877