We have no idea how Mancini could think that the appeal would be successful. After all, the FA requires that to be successful on a claim of Wrongful Dismissal, the Club must show that the referee “has made a serious and obvious error.” Here, as we explain in more details below, the case for Wrongful Dismissal was not even close. The dismissal was required.
Indeed, Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct, expressly states that a player must be sent off if his offense rises to “serious foul play.” According to the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees issued by IFAB, a player is guilty of serious foul play if “he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponentâ€.” Thus, “any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.” According to FIFA’s guidance, “using excessive force means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring an opponent.” FIFA rules require that a player who uses excessive force be sent off or shown red card.
In its directive to referees, 100% Misconduct: Tactical and Red Card Tackles, Feb 2, 2009, USSF also explained that red card tackles usually involve combinations of the following components:
- Speed of play
- Aggressive nature
- Position of the tackler – in particular, his legs (height of the tackler’s leading leg and the follow-up action by the tackler’s trailing leg)
- Opportunity to play the ball
- Atmosphere of the game
Taking into considerations the Laws of the Game and FIFA and USSF guidance, Kompany’s tackle was correctly judged by the referee as serious foul play. As you can clearly see in the footage, Kompany aggressively challenges the ball by lunging after the ball with both of his feet in the air, studs exposed and both legs fully outstretched. This is one of the most dangerous tackles in this game. The potential consequences to the opponent are incredibly serious. We are talking broken bones, long-term disability and even carrier ending injuries. Clearly, the only reason Nani was able to escape any injury is because he jumped over Kompany’s outstretched legs. These kinds of tackles have no place in this game and the referee was right to eject Kompany from the game. We congratulate the referee on makindecision. Thankfully, as reported here, the FA rejected the Manchester City’s appeal and Kompany was suspended for four games. The statement on the FA’s website read as follows:
- An Independent Regulatory Commission has today dismissed a claim of wrongful dismissal from Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany following his red card for Serious Foul Play in The FA Cup Third Round tie between Manchester City v Manchester United on 8 January 2012.
- Kompany will serve a four-match suspension with immediate effect. The suspension consists of a statutory three-match suspension for Serious Foul Play plus one additional game given this is Kompany’s second dismissal of the season.