Perth Glory have decided not to appeal the decision made by the independent Match Review Panel – consisting of Barry Such (Chair), Brad Maloney and Alan Davidson – that the sanction of a two match suspension be served, by Andy Todd for the offence of assault on a player.
Which is understandable having viewed the videotape held by Fox Sports, however having witnessed the event first hand and at fairly close range, the question I have to ask is should a player be charged when complete footage of the incident is not available?
I do not condone the behaviour of Andy Todd, however neither do I condone the behaviour of the player who provoked him with the deliberate intent to get him sent off, an action to which Todd reacted.
I also accept that a player of his experience should not have been drawn into reacting, but having witnessed the event, most people in his position would have reacted.
The Match Review Panel did not witness the whole incident and the protagonist has got off scot-free. Although I am sure that some payback will be meted out later in the season.
I have to say that I do not like the existence of the Match Review Panel, or the way that if you should want to appeal a decision that they make, should you lose that appeal, you could end up with a larger suspension. This is against everything that we are trying to achieve with the Hyundai A league, which is keep the best players on the pitch and performing so that the public come and watch, and that the end product is the best it can be.
Saying that, one rule that I think football could look at if they want to prevent an all in scuffle – I refuse to use the word melee as it is used by the sport we don’t mention – is that the third person in will be punished as in rugby union. Once again I do not want to see a red card, as we want to keep it as eleven a side as much as we can, but a yellow and a fine may be an option?
Incidentally, great to see the FFA website shows the fracas happening in the 38th minute despite correcting the error of their press release. I would have thought that should give Perth Glory and Adelaide a loophole to get off the charge of team misconduct. Simply show the panel the action from the 38th minute and they will see no altercation.