Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kompany Review Flawed as There's Just No Need to Go in Two-Footed

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kompany Review Flawed as There's Just No Need to Go in Two-Footed

Article excerpt

Byline: JamesOlley Chief Football Correspondent

THERE is something worryingly incompatible about Vincent Kompany's successful red card appeal and the directive for referees to clampdown on dangerous tackling.

Kompany's dismissal for a forceful challenge on Jack Wilshere in Manchester City's win at Arsenal was contentious. The centre-back jumped into the tackle with both feet off the ground but partially withdrew one foot as he saw Wilshere's last movement with the ball.

If the motion of a tackle begins when a player throws himself into it, Kompany's was a two-footed challenge. If it begins at the point of contact, he used only one foot and could legitimately argue not to have used excessive force.

As with so many decisions during a match, it came down to Mike Dean's interpretation of the rules. Many argued Kompany's punishment was harsh but few expected it to be overturned.

Upon releasing news of their decision, the Football Association posted a link on their website to a video explaining the wrongful-dismissal process. They state that appeals are only upheld where an "obvious error" occurs.

Was this an obvious mistake? During the close season, the FA downgraded the standard required for a successful appeal from "serious and obvious error" to "obvious error" but, regardless, it would be wrong to argue Kompany's dismissal did not have a solid legal argument behind it.

Last season, he was sent off for a similar challenge on Nani (right) in an FA Cup tie against Manchester United. A DVD was subsequently issued to clubs outlining the three categories of problem tackling -- careless, reckless and excessive. The latter pair can be met with yellow or red cards.

An excessive tackle is defined as "at speed, with intensity and with two feet off the ground". The Professional Footballers' Association were among the most prominent supporters of a clampdown on dangerous tackles and helped determine that particular phrasing.

The players have since been reminded of what is acceptable and referees are under pressure to enforce the ruling. In my opinion, there is simply never a need to make a two-footed tackle. …

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