The Football Association has hit back at Sir Alex Ferguson’s accusation that their compliance unit only acts as a result of media pressure. Ferguson is angry at inconsistencies from the FA’s disciplinary body.
An FA spokesman said to the BBC:
“The vast majority of cases have their origin in reports from the match officials. There was lengthy consultation before the new disciplinary procedures were brought in and managers were very much part of that. We spoke with the League Managers’ Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association, all the leagues and the referees before we brought these new procedures in and they have largely been greeted positively.”
Ferguson cited the example of his defender Gary Neville being fined for his goal celebrations against Liverpool, while Chelsea’s William Gallas was not punished for his thumbs-down gesture to Fulham fans after being red-carded.
He said to the Daily Mail:
“The FA could not prove what Gary was doing because none of the footage showed the fans, whereas the Gallas one was obvious. I am not really bothered about that, I just don’t think the compliance unit has any real purpose because they don’t do anything unless the press report it, therefore it cannot be a proper system. The disciplinary system has changed now and everything has to be done immediately or not at all. But in some cases, you really have to sit back and analyse something if it is wrong.”
The FA spokesman defended English football’s governing body over the two different cases.
He said: “In the specific instances of Gary Neville and William Gallas, the referee in the United-Liverpool game said he would have booked the player if he had seen what happened at the time, whereas the referee in the Fulham-Chelsea match said he would not have taken any action.”
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