Was Kompany's Red Card Harsh?

Tuesday 10th January 2012
Vincent Kompany's Red Card in the FA Cup Third Round has been well covered with Roberto Mancini being very vocal in his condemnation of the decision by Referee Chris Foy and in the role that Wayne Rooney played in the aftermath of the tackle. However, let us have a look at the tackle again and look at the criteria in relation to Serious Foul Play.

I will quote from the Laws of the Game book page 120:

“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.”


From that quote only, the appeal that has been entered will not succeed. The fact that Vincent Kompany played the ball is irrelevant. He entered the challenge at speed. There was intent in the challenge in a way that he was going to attempt to take out the Opposing player. He does not have to be successful in striking the player for the intent of the tackle to be considered. The key part of this tackle by Vincent Kompany is Endangering the Safety of the Opponent. He has gone into the tackle with complete disregard for Nani's safety. He has also lost control of his actions as he has left the ground and is leading with both feet with the stud of the boots showing.

This was a text book case of Serious Foul Play. And that tackle will be punished in the same manner in all divisions by Referees. This will feature on Coaching Topics in the coming weeks and months.

Now we move onto the next contentious point, Wayne Rooney's role in the matter. In my view, this is irrelevant. The Referee had a clear view of the incident and he applied the one Refereeing tool that Spectators do not appreciate, he gave himself some thinking time. That is why it took him so long to blow for the foul. Being so early in the game, he needs to be 100% sure of his decision before changing the context of the game. And because he has given himself some thinking time, that has allowed Rooney to come over and voice his opinion. This is an unfortunate consequence of the current game. However, Rooney's opinion will have fallen upon deaf ears as Mr Foy will already have come to his own decision.

But Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has said that Rooney waved an imaginary card at the Mr Foy. But wait a minute, didn't Mr Mancini do exactly the same thing to the Fourth Official during the Liverpool game just 5 days previously? Food for thought though.

But going back to the tackle by Kompany, in this instance, the Referee Mr Foy got his decision correct, and this was a good example of strong Refereeing.
By Ask The Scottish Ref (Follow on Twitter @AskTheScotsRef)
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