The last man & the red card shame
by Sati Clare
Feb 20, 2014 7:52 PM GMT
Although there are still 90 minutes to be played in both games, the sun has quite possibly all but set on Manchester City and Arsenal's Champions League dreams after they both lost in their home games 0-2 in their first legs in the first knockout round of the competition. But the biggest talking point from both matches will be the penalties conceded, with both Martin Demichelis and Wojciech Szczesny being shown the red card for committing a professional foul.
Lets be clear, Barcelona & Bayern Munich were the better teams and over the course of the first games deserved to win. However there is an argument here with the rules that our governing body FIFA have set.
Here is the ruling from FIFA Laws Of The Game 2013/2014
Section 12 Law 12 Fouls & Misconduct:
"A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following seven offences: [...] 4. denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area); 5. denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick."
This ruling is unfair, why send off the player for a foul committed inside the box? Is not being awarded a penalty giving the goalscoring advantage back to the team who had the chance? Why then punish the opposing team by reducing them to ten men? You are giving the opposition a much bigger incentive in that you could possibly score the penalty and then control the game. Playing in a high profile match with a player down is very difficult, you may only get 1 chance so the pressure is enormous. There is also the argument that this does kill the game for the neutrals watching.
The man on the street as well as every pundit has an opinion, which is clear, the ruling should change to reflect that it is NOT an automatic red card for being the last man. Giving the penalty is enough punishment. However if the foul is deemed to be a red card offence then the referee should have the power to make that decision and then for the rightly so send that player off.
Allegedly, FIFA are going to look into this ruling, let us hope that our governing body can make a change for the good of football going forward.