The FA set to make an example of the Hammers?
ESPNsoccernet has learned that both West Ham and Millwall will be charged on Wednesday with a series of hard-hitting offences for the violence and pitch invasions that marred the Hammers’ 3-1 defeat of their London rivals last month.
I understand that the FA plan to get tough and the severity of the charges might come as a surprise to those thinking the FA would take the usual line and dish out only fines.
The charges will be issued on Wednesday, after West Ham’s Tuesday night Carling Cup tie at Bolton, and the consequences of any repeat of football violence will make both clubs shudder with the severity of their suspended sentences – anything else will be viewed as the soft option.
But I believe the FA are in the mood to take a stand against football violence with their World Cup 2018 bid at stake. The wording of their charges will be an indicator to the FA Commission that the FA are seeking tough measures as a deterrent.
I believe that West Ham will face the threat of being forced to play a game behind closed doors as punishment for rioting and specifically for the pitch invasions. Although West Ham and Millwall will be charged, the home side face heavier punishment.
But both clubs also face suspended sentences that could mean being banned from the Carling Cup should any such scenes be repeated. There will also be heavy fines for both clubs. (ESPN)
Having seen FIFA and UEFA attempt to get tough on offences, albeit failing, the FA may feel the need to do likewise and that is why there appears to be a very real chance they may get a hefty fine or indeed be forced to play a game behind closed doors. Can you imagine how you would feel as a fan who hasn’t missed a game in X amount of years only then to miss out because of some idiots who decided they couldn’t help themselves and had to run onto the playing surface or attack an opposing fan?
It’s only the large majority of the supporters who will be affected by such a punishment and not the idiots who probably don’t even come to Upton Park other than when the likes of Millwall or Chelsea are in town. I understand that a stand must be made on this kind of behaviour but why not simply give a jail sentence to those who are found to have taken part? Giving these hooligans a spell inside could at least deter them from doing likewise in the future but to put a blanket ban that prevents real supporters from attending a game is really not going to serve as an effective or indeed fair punishment.
Think about it like this. Imagine you lived on a large council estate and then there was a big disturbance there, perhaps even a few occurrences of gangs fighting on the streets outside the estate. Then imagine as a punishment the Police prevented EVERYONE from leaving their homes for a day. I know it’s a strange analogy but I am trying to get across how the idea of playing a game behind closed doors is not a fair punishment and really does not attack the root of the problem or even deter these self same idiots from doing exactly the same thing again, hence the alternative of actually giving those guilty of a criminal offence on the day in question a prison sentence.