Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United - Premier League

Good or bad? FA adopt new retrospective approach after multiple issues

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From the start of next season new rules to retrospective action will be implemented in the English Premier League.

This will get interesting.

In a statement released on the English Football Association’s website this morning, they confirmed the new rule will come into play for the 2013-14 season.

Here it is.

“From the start of the new season, The FA will reserve the right to take retrospective action when match officials are not in a position to fully assess a ‘coming together’ of players.”

Fans of Major League Soccer will know just how much fuss, controversy and debate the retrospective punishments have caused since they began in MLS.

I can’t see José Mourinho, Paolo Di Canio, Arsene Wenger and others taking kindly to these new measures. Can you?

So, why the rule change? After Wigan Athletic winger Callum McManaman went unpunished for a truly horrific tackle on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara last season, the issue cropped up. McManaman was only issued a yellow card by the match referee. But because the officials had seen the incident, but not clearly, no further action could be taken by the FA.

Even though it was obvious that McManaman deserved more than a yellow, he didn’t get a further punishment. But now that will change, as the FA’s new laws are sure to cause numerous talking points during the new season and beyond.

(MORE: Callum McManaman, public enemy number one)

Trust me folks, you and I will both be sick of the word “retrospective” but the time next Christmas rolls around. Fact.

And just to make it clear, the FA also stood up for the referees.

“This change is not intended to usurp the authority of the match officials who are, in the vast majority of cases, best-placed to deal with incidents at the time they occur. It will only be utilized in the rare circumstances outlined above.”

Will it be used in “rare circumstances” though? I hope so. But I doubt it.

The Professional Referees Organization (PRO) who run the referees and rulings in Major League Soccer didn’t think that retrospective action would play a huge role when they initially brought it in. Now everyone waits for the long midweek list of offenders to be released on the league website.

Safe to say there will be plenty of EPL managers and player looking over the shoulders this season.

Watch out. The new form of retrospective action is on the loose.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia