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Good or bad? FA adopt new retrospective approach after multiple issues

Jul 12, 2013, 2:02 PM EST

Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

From the start of next season new rules to retrospective action will be implemented in the English Premier League.

This will get interesting.

In a statement released on the English Football Association’s website this morning, they confirmed the new rule will come into play for the 2013-14 season.

Here it is.

“From the start of the new season, The FA will reserve the right to take retrospective action when match officials are not in a position to fully assess a ‘coming together’ of players.”

Fans of Major League Soccer will know just how much fuss, controversy and debate the retrospective punishments have caused since they began in MLS.

I can’t see José Mourinho, Paolo Di Canio, Arsene Wenger and others taking kindly to these new measures. Can you?

So, why the rule change? After Wigan Athletic winger Callum McManaman went unpunished for a truly horrific tackle on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara last season, the issue cropped up. McManaman was only issued a yellow card by the match referee. But because the officials had seen the incident, but not clearly, no further action could be taken by the FA.

Even though it was obvious that McManaman deserved more than a yellow, he didn’t get a further punishment. But now that will change, as the FA’s new laws are sure to cause numerous talking points during the new season and beyond.

(MORE: Callum McManaman, public enemy number one)

Trust me folks, you and I will both be sick of the word “retrospective” but the time next Christmas rolls around. Fact.

And just to make it clear, the FA also stood up for the referees.

“This change is not intended to usurp the authority of the match officials who are, in the vast majority of cases, best-placed to deal with incidents at the time they occur. It will only be utilized in the rare circumstances outlined above.”

Will it be used in “rare circumstances” though? I hope so. But I doubt it.

The Professional Referees Organization (PRO) who run the referees and rulings in Major League Soccer didn’t think that retrospective action would play a huge role when they initially brought it in. Now everyone waits for the long midweek list of offenders to be released on the league website.

Safe to say there will be plenty of EPL managers and player looking over the shoulders this season.

Watch out. The new form of retrospective action is on the loose.

  1. talgrath - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Personally, I feel like the reviews have been good for MLS, I don’t see why they couldn’t also be good for EPL. You might not always agree with the results of the review, but you do get the reasoning behind it and they have reversed some truly bad red cards and punished some truly bad no-calls. Even in the EPL, which arguably has some of the best referees in the world, the referees can miss things, they are only mortal, after all; as long as the reviews explain their reasoning and make the “right” call or at least a reasonable call in a grey line situation, I don’t see a problem.

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