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Kangaroos Have Been Court

This Football Association of ours, eh? Little bit of advice guys, if you are going to instigate a charge against somebody, do you not think it would be a good idea to get your story straight first? I hope the Football Association does not have to commit any secret political assassinations, can you imagine the furore?
Bobby: 'So, Mr. Barwick, where were you on the 24th May, 2006 between the hours of 2pm and 11pm?'

Brian: 'Errr....I was washing my hair, no, I was washing the,no,no, I was at dinner with Frank Lampard.'

Bobby (incredulously): 'You were at dinner with Frank Lampard for the whole nine hours?'

Brian: 'Well, not dinner so much. He was scooping out the crumbs from his toaster again and got his fingers stuck.'

I am sure you have heard by now that the Football Association have charged Arsene Wenger with improper conduct, a touchline ban and a public flogging will probably ensue. I think this is one of the more obvious charges in the F.As rather chequered disciplinary history (apart from when Ian Wright called all referees 'incompetent little Hitlers'). I mean, fancy calling somebody who is clearly guilty of telling a lie a liar? The cheek! I want to know just how the Football Association thought they could get away with telling such a stinking porker? The bout of handbags versus Chelsea was a domestic showpiece Final, televised to millions. The really quite unremarkable 'melee' was seen from a multitude of angles by millions the world over, if one of those people can tell me what Adebayor did to get a red card I would be interested to know.

What is remarkable is the F.A's quite immature sidestepping. At the original hearing the linesman alleged that Adebayor had punched Frank Lampard. Of course everybody with a set of functioning eyes could see that no such incident took place (Fabregas was too busy swinging Fat Boy around for Ade to even get a chance)! Usually, being the laughing stock of the country does not phase the F.A (pulling the plug on a Youth Centre of Excellence to put an arch on Wembley stadium. Need I say more?) But when the chubster's agent Steve Kutner flatly denied the allegation, the F.A's lie had been exposed. Arsene called it as much, 'the whole system is dishonest.' Well, he's correct isn't he? Don't the F.As constant alterations to their story back this up? Oh no, no, no. You've got it all wrong, said the faceless bar stewards, Adebayor 'aimed a punch' at Frank Lampard. Hmmmm, well you see, you're giving yourself the same problem here aren't you? Because, you guessed it, the same footage shows that no such incident took place once again. D'oh!

Suspiciously, it took the boys from Soho Square a few days to levy the charge. An independent inquiry into the Football Association in 2004 (I think) was heavily critical of their infrastructure, the basis of the report was that the entire association needed to be altered drastically. One of the dominant criticisms was the inefficiency of their disciplinary procedure. So why the delay in the charge for Wenger? Was it to concoct this poorly constructed story that it was a misprint, the referee's report ACTUALLY said that Adebayor 'acted agressively.' The vagueness of that term makes it very hard to prove or disprove either way, it is bulletproof where the F.A are concerned because it is open to interpretation. It is not a cut and dry allegation, such as assault. You could say Adebayor 'acted agressively', but didn't Fabregas? Didn't Lampard? Didn't Drogba? Why the constant shapeshifting and back peddling? I would like to see a transcript of the referee's report, I bet there's more black marker on it than a transcript of George Bush's dishonourable discharge forms from the U.S Army. In fact, the whole charge has been so farcical, my immediate thought is that it is like a microcosm of the Watergate scandal. For Richard Nixon and Watergate, read the Carling Cup linesman and a blatant lie.

Do you know what I think happened (and by that token what most people think happened)? The linesman clearly mistook Eboue for Adebayor. Eboue of course raised his hands to Wayne Bridge, which, despite Bridge's lamentable histrionics (sorry, he's English isn't he? My mistake), is a red card offence and Eboue should have known better. The linesman and official Coward Webb (that's not a typo) do not want to admit their mistake for two reasons. The first is that quite frankly, they never do. Refereeing is a tough job, of that there is no doubt. But I think referees would command more respect if, just occasionally, they said, 'do you know what? Yes, I got it wrong. It was Eboue who should have been sent off, not Adebayor.' Mistakes happen and I think everybody would understand that and respect the official for correcting his error. But the Football Association have built a forcefield of pomposity around their officials which frustrates managers like Warnock, Jewell and Coleman (who were all effusive in their support for Wenger), referees are allowed to make huge mistakes without reprisal and managers are not allowed to even comment or they will be punished. Is that not the hallmark of a totalitarian government?

The second reason is that, because Eboue and Adebayor are black, the Football Association may have encountered some criticism and allegations of institutional racism (let's face it, mistaken identity can happen and that would have been a harsh accusation). But instead of having the confidence to shoot down such a suggestion, Adebayor must take the fall in the shape of a four match ban. This is a most cowardly action from an institution that has become narcissistic to the detriment of the game. The F.As moral bankruptcy in the whole issue has been really sad, it is a terrible indictment on our game that such a tissue of lies can be allowed to stand. Of course Wenger has responsibility here, regardless of how correct he is in his accustaion, he should have moderated his language slightly as he was never likely to curry favour with such accusatory vocabulary. That is, unless he said it in Portugese which is apparently o.k. At first, my frustration with the coverage of this 'incident' in the Carling Cup Final was how much scandal had ensued from such a nothing incident. The very real brawl that erupted between Valencia and Inter just two weeks later served to elucidate the 'storm in a teacup' nature of the melee. But now, it is the Football Association and their moral bankruptcy that I find most troubling. LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 16 2007

Time: 2:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
couldn't agree more. Even when the FA have the opportunity to atone for their phuck ups, they never do. And on top of that they go and appoint Steve McClaren as England manager. *****pots
Jacky B
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16/03/2007 14:08:00

Cracking piece LD. And one that football fans all over the country will agree with, a bunch of spinless *******s who's actions have no consequenes......well not for them anyway.
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 14:24:00

Spot on article! It's ironic that if they had put their hands up and said "we made a mistake" it would absolve them (humans do make mistakes) and would make Arsene's comments invalid, so diffusing the sorry mess they created. Maybe they are all at it like rabbits in Soho Square, banging secretaries, politicking, PR stunts, coverups etc, not leaving them energy to focus on their jobs!
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 14:29:00

I think its Wenger's duty to all football fans in england to display via the press & sky etc all the evidence he has. Also at the conclusion of the hearing (where undoubtedly he will get a touchline ban & another record fine) he should present documented evidence of everything that happens at the hearing to show the fa up for what we already know they are. The FA always release statements boasting of the fines & bans they dish out but never offer up explanations as to how they got to those conclusions. Hopefully Jewell & Wenger (despite their obvious dislike for each other) can work together on this issue because the whole system is a farce. An independant body should be set up (paid for by all premiership clubs) which would decide on what & what isn't a punishable offence.
Ashburton Gooner
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16/03/2007 14:30:00

gtreat piece LD - especially the comparison between the CC final melée and the full blown fist fight of the valencia inter game. Why does no-one in the press make this point? »»Arsene Knows««
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 14:32:00

I think in future all our players should be taught to mouth off in French or to be in safe side in Portuguese. Then there would not be any more problems with FA. Also someone should ask if the linesman is willing to pursue the accusation of wenger, as FA said they did not pursue Jose's comments because the Riley did not want to do it against Chelsea and its millions.
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 14:34:00

One suggestion if(it is a gigantic IF) the FA wants its image to be clean from now on, the disciplinary hearing should be in public covered by the media(just as any other normal court where justice is served).
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 14:36:00

I would like, in this particular case, for the referee's report to be made avilable for the public domain. A PDF document on their website with no "creative editing", let's see what the ORIGINAL report really said.
Little Dutch
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16/03/2007 14:41:00

Write to the FA & see the response U get.......thank U for your kind letter, whilst we take note of your opinions, we'll do naf all about it, but continue with our heads buried as far as possible in the sand....or someplace else. Great comment LD. I don't see any changes happening very fast....if the FA can make an abortion of Wembley (public money) don't hold your breath for them actually saying 'yeh, we messed up, sorry' Why don't clubs start withholding funding, then see wot happens?
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 14:44:00

The only money that the F.A get from clubs are in the shape of fines. The F.A are privately run I believe. What they are doing, and Platini will soon push clubs this way too, is smoothing the way for a breakaway league. That would be a real shame and is something
Little Dutch
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16/03/2007 14:47:00

The only money that the F.A get from clubs are in the shape of fines. The F.A are privately run I believe. What they are doing, and Platini will soon push clubs this way too, is smoothing the way for a breakaway league. That would be a real shame and is something I don't want.
Little Dutch
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16/03/2007 14:47:00

I thought that the clubs paid a certain revenue to the FA via gate receipts, more so the FA Cup This would be a sure fire way for them to start paying attention, and maybe adopting some of the RFU initiatives ....miked up refs....4th officials....respect for that's another issue!!
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 15:04:00

They do get money from the F.A Cup, the only gate receipt money they get is for England games (why are there so many friendlies again?) Miking up officilas would have unequivocably sorted this issue out, we could have heard the conversation between Webb and his assistant and their lie would have been even more exposed.
Little Dutch
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16/03/2007 15:36:00

If the FA's charges against players/managers/clubs are made so public, then surely the evidence to support such charges should be? It's not like the police revealing evidence in a murder case. LD is right, the FA bear all the hallmarks of a totalitarian state. A year ago I couldn't stand the thought of G14 or any other clubs forming a breakaway league but now I'm not so against it. The FA will be the death of football in this country, not foreign footballers.
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 17:55:00

You seem to toally miss the point - a coach/manager in any sport in any country CANNOT call officials LIARS ... it implies premeditation and corruption on behave of the officials .. whether Wenger is right or wrong, he is guilty .. and he would be in any league in Europe. A man of this susposed intelligence ought to have more sense .. in Adebayor's case, he certainly was acting aggressively and whilst he deserved only a yellow, failing to leave the field as he did, is an automatic addition to any ban .. if he'd walked off and then you appealed I bet he would have had the card rescinded. Instead by the players inflaming the situation by their reaction on the pitch and then by Wenger's aggressive assertion there is no way the FA will back down. You've got only yourself to blame for a lack of professionalism on the pitch followed by foolish inflamatory comments after it. Personally if it was Spurs players, such as our own hotheads Chimbonda and Ghaly the criticism would be at them. You don't put out a fire by pouring oil on it
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 20:13:00

Sir_Harry, YOU seem to totally miss the point. LD clearly states in his article that Wenger should have moderated his language. This article focusses more on what the FA is doing (or not doing) and its painfully obvious that they have screwed up. I'm surprised that you being English and all cant understand what this article is all about :).
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 20:57:00

great article LD. I wish the FA would make the report public so that we can all see what exactly the fuss was abt.
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16/03/2007 20:59:00

SH - Why does it automatically imply corruption? As LD points out, the lie could have been told soley to protect the linesman's embarassment at a blatently obvious mistake. And if Wenger believes that it was a lie (which it clearly is) why not call it? If someone lies to you, will you just ignore it for fear of repurcussions? That is the act of a spineless individual.
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16/03/2007 21:16:00

"sir whoever" read the article again do you just skim through stuff so you can quickly make an anti-arsenal comment or do you care about what is written.
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16/03/2007 21:53:00

He cant help but make anti Arsenal comments, like one of those hacks who picks out the juicy bits to use them in a fake exclusive. Great article that basically puts into words what the majority of football fans think of the FA (does that stand for f*@k All?) They have clearly made this story up as they go along. Wenger will no doubt be made to wear an orange suit and be sent to guantanamo bay.
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 22:06:00

so wenger says "'the whole system is dishonest" and Mourinho says "you are the son of a whore" (in his mother tongue)...who do you think gets off? errrr.
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 22:11:00

This shows how fickel the fa are, how did the assistant not lie when he wrote in the match report that Adebayor punched lampard yet a few days later lampard's agent released a statement saying that Lampard was not punched!? so let me get this right the assistant saw adebayor 'punch' lampard but missed bridge and eboues theatrics? hard to believe i know. so know wenger is making a stand for his players and without a second look it seems the fa must punish wenger to save face. also adebayor has had an added ban of another game but how can this be. if lampard says he was never punched? then how could adebayor punch him! sorry but this truly is a joke and of you cant see the fa is falling to pieces then i don't know whats wrong with you!? just look at the England managers selection how long did that take? and why take so long to pick the assistant manager, it amazes me how adventurous they are . and what a great job mclarens done for england he really is amazing... NOT! so im sure im not the first to say this but f.cuk the fa the overpaid w.ankers.
Youngest in Charge
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16/03/2007 22:18:00

This afternoon, on my way home from work, I got a nail in the back tyre of my motorbike. That's gotta be at least a five match ban for Adebayor. F.A. = Frame Adebayor. Sod em though, next season, we won't be knocking on any doors, we'll be smashing through walls and if the referees don't like it then Arsene will hava to taunt them a second time-a!
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 23:01:00

As Jewell said we need one of the managers to take the case to a real court where these can be made to produce their evidence. It will need only one person to take them to court. It’s like saying judges and police are never liars never make up stories never change the circumstances to get a conviction. b.ull.s.hit. they have a system in Australia where you can appeal the judgment of the board but if you are found to be guilty again then they increase the penalty. The major point is when the players go before the board they have a recognized legal member on the board and the players are represented by a legal team. Yes it takes time but not as long as the time it takes in the UK. Crime (foul) committed on Friday, Saturday or Sunday matter dealt with on Tuesday result that day appeal two days later result. Make the evidence available mic the officials. If players swear at them then it is on tape, if players abuse then its on tape but if official’s f.uc.kup it on tape.
Report Abuse
16/03/2007 23:37:00

If you take the FA to court, uefa will kick all the english teams out of europe. Personally I think thats more reason to do it, as why should we care about the spuds, chelski, man usa or liverpool. None of those clubs supported us, so now we should use this opportunity to f*** their seasons up & in the process make the fa a laughing stock.
Ashburton Gooner
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17/03/2007 11:23:00

it wasn't an anti Arsenal comment. Any professional in any sport is an idiot if he thinks he can use the term 'liar' to describe any official. Whether he's in the right or wrong, the moment Wenger used that term he said the linesman deliberately made a mistake. No sporting association of any sport anywhere in the world will accept that comment made about their officials as it suggests premediation and bias.
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17/03/2007 13:29:00

Sir_Harry it was premeditated as he was given a chance after the game to say he was wrong, even after Lampard had said nothing happened, and still stuck by it. That is the definition of premeditated lying, *****bag.
Gunner down spu*s,OZ
Report Abuse
18/03/2007 11:15:00

typically moronic convict offering - in any sport you cannot call an official a liar, whether it is true or not. Is that simple enough for you?
Report Abuse
18/03/2007 11:45:00

Here we go again with Sir Harry's small minded Daily Mail view of the world. Honestly mate, ***** off. Please don't comment on my articles again because your borderline racist offerings just completely take the joy out of writing here for me. Off to your BNP rally there Enoch.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
19/03/2007 10:21:00

And Sir Hrry if somebody is a convict by virtue of being Australian, you are applying an ancestoral stereotype. In that case, given the behaviour of our ancestors in the British Empire days, that makes you and I raping, pillaging baby killers.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
19/03/2007 10:24:00

Oh Little Dutch you really are truly pathetic. Your Aussie colleague chooses to be abusive, and you make an issue of me referring to the fact that he resides in a 'convict colony' a humourous term used by England fans in a non rascist context for donkey's years. Of course with you being anti English and anti British I hear nothing about their use of the abusive term POM which we are supposed to take in good humour since the start of the 20th century. Please explain where prior to your abusive Aussie colleague where I had not engaged in an intelligent discussion - this from a person who on recent posts has been more abusive than any other poster
Report Abuse
20/03/2007 08:38:00


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