It's not just El Hadji Diouf
Date: Wednesday 24th January 2007The F.A or Match Officials. Who really makes the rules? Something that has bothered me for quite a while. Just what happens to the rules the F.A bring in every season. You know, those daft inventions that are supposed to make the game better. They just seem to disappear before the season ends, never to be seen or applied again. This begs the question, do the match officials simply not apply them? If that is the case why aren’t the F.A taking action towards the officials? Let’s have a look at some of these forgotten rules, and ask yourself when you last saw them applied. The ‘six second’ rule: The one directed at goalkeepers that take far too long messing with the ball, six seconds wasn't it? Well in truth I have only ever seen this rule applied once, yep you got it! Jussi against Newcastle. The only time this rule was ever applied (at least to my knowledge). Naturally Shearer scored from the resulting free kick! The ‘stay on your line’ rule: Again applied to goalkeepers who would step out a few feet in order to cut down the angle during penalties. Now this was a rule that was applied for a while, with the referee standing in line with the keeper in order to ensure he didn’t step out of his goal. Again this is a rule brought in by the F.A that has still managed to get lost in the wash. The ‘daylight’ rule: Did this one ever actually get to the football pitch? The F.A brought in this rule in order to give the attacker the advantage, yet all it did was make the linesmen (oops sorry, assistant referee) more determined to waft his flag as soon as a through ball is played. The ’last man’ rule: This seems to be a rule applied by some referees, forgotten by others. We saw a perfect example of this in the Fulham v West Ham game, just before Christmas. Konchesky was sent off for bringing down Routledge just outside the box. Fair enough you might think, he was the last defender and that is the rule. Yet during the Arsenal/Blackburn match the very same day David Bentley was adjudged to have been hauled down in the box by Kolo Toure, not five yards from goal with no-one else around, surely this was the most obvious sending off possible? Nope, yellow card given! The 'please don't hug the crowd' rule: When a player scores an important goal, it's adrenalin and human nature to want to rush over and throw themselves into the screaming crowd. Yet referee's today cant make up their minds whether to book the player for it! Some do, some don't, make up your bleeding minds!! The ‘offside’ rule: No real point in going into this, as neither the match officials or the F.A has the first clue what’s going on with this rule. Hopefully the F.A will finally find a good solid rule for offside that the match officials can ignore. So, just who really does run the British game of football? The spineless F.A? Or the incompetent match officials. Between them they really do seam to be making a mockery of our beautiful game. Is it any wonder the managers bitch and moan?