Monday, 25 February 2008

The punishment must fit the crime

It was entirely understandable for Arsene Wenger to say that Birmingham City defender Martin Taylor should never play football again following his shocking foul on Eduardo on Saturday.

It was also right that Wenger should later withdraw his comments as ones which were made in the heat of the moment and didn't reflect his considered view. However bad Taylor's foul was (and it was truly appalling), he doesn't deserve to have his career ended by it.

But it would be equally unjust for him just to be banned for three matches and then start playing again. If Paolo di Canio can be banned for 11 games simply for pushing over a referee, then I think it is entirely right that a similar sort of punishment be handed out to Taylor.

If a player is sent off for a dangerous or reckless tackle which causes injury to another player, I think footballing authorities should take the severity of the injury into account when deciding the punishment. For a truly shocking foul, like Taylor's, I do not think that a three-month or even a six-month ban would be inappropriate. After all, Eduardo is likely to be out for at least six months as a result of his broken leg and he may never be the same player again.

1 comment:

Julian H said...

Entirely correct. Violent 'challenges' that threaten the victim's career need to be looked at retrospectively by the authorities and penalties handed out that reflect the damage the actions cause.

This is not only the case for offenders like Martin Taylor but also players who make similarly bad 'challenges' but see their victims escape severe injury by chance. Last season Michael Brown committed four or five horrific 'challenges'. This season has seen Dirk Kuyt (vs Everton) and a series of others.

I'm constantly baffled as to why so many people in the footballing sphere (at least in the UK) continue to think this is acceptable and even deserving respect. I recall Man Utd fans describing Roy Keane's pre-meditated assault on Haaland as 'brilliant'.

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