BY JORDAN-LUKE McDONALD
When we asked the FA to cut the crap, we didn’t mean it literally. From next season, players face having a yellow card brandished in their face should they get a little too close to the referee’s face and possibly being sent off if they are deemed to have sworn at a match official.
This is being done in a bid to reduce the amount of ‘intolerable behaviour’ within English football. But in my eyes, at least, being passionate is far from ‘intolerable’.
For years, players have been threatened with the potential to be booked for dissent, so what makes the FA think that introducing new rules and regulations will make things any better? New rules are absolutely pointless if they barely change what has come before.
The big problem is that such issues are hard to enforce. They are subjective. Like diving, one referee could deem an incident to be satisfactory whilst another referee could perceive it as being indictable.
That is utterly unacceptable for a matter which depends solely on complete uniformity.
Then there is the issue of what should be defined as ‘offensive, insulting or abusive language’. How do we distinguish between trollop and tw*t, crap and crud, f*ck sake and flipping hell?
In addition, as a country that prides itself on its multi-ethnic background and its ability to attract the very best footballers from across the globe, England is perhaps the most ludicrous place to attempt such an operation.
Breaking news – compulsory refereeing apparatus for the 2016/17 season: whistle, yellow card, red card, vanishing spray, a multi-language dictionary and the latest edition of Political Correctness Gone Mad. I am, of course, joking with the last two items on the checklist – particularly the last one – but you get the point.
Seriously though, how will a referee know the difference between someone calling them a peach and a piç, pronounced similarly but with the latter meaning ‘bastard’ in Turkish? Think a player is calling the ref cocky? Well he might have just said koki, meaning ‘small penis’ in Hungarian.
Or, less discretely, what about any other generic expletive simply uttered in a foreign language?
Perhaps more enjoyable to witness would be if players performed a completely contrasting change of heart and instead adopted an overly sarcastic approach with officials. ‘Great decision ref’ says a player smugly with a sly smile and a callous clapping of the hands; it would certainly be more enjoyable than seeing him red faced, enthused with righteous anger.
In an era of football which is supposedly becoming increasingly mercenary and demonstrating less authentic passion, the FA appear to be perpetuating this lack of passion further. Premier League chairman insisted that ‘things happen in the heat of the moment during fast and highly competitive football. We still want to see the passion fans enjoy and demand, but players and managers have to be aware there are lines that should not be crossed’.
Despite these claims, it seems that the authorities are keen to suck the blood of passion from athletes and leave them as mere lifeless corpses.
Instead, they should be looking to solve real issues and incorporate things like video technology as opposed to subjecting footballers to silence. Without video technology and with these new principles, players are no longer able to exercise their right to appeal a decision through fear of being booked, or worse.
Many have pointed out that games could quite easily see teams reduced to nine or ten men on a regular basis. So next season, expect some of your favourite stars to miss large chunks of the season as a result of collecting a staggering number of cautions because they are passionate about their profession.
Basically, what I am trying to say is, the FA need to quit with the f*cking bullsh*t.