The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY -

MY ini­tial thoughts on Col­locini’s dis­missal in last week­end’s New­cas­tle/Sun­der­land derby was that the penalty de­ci­sion was harsh.

On re­flec­tion, I could see why it was given but I still thought it was a tough de­ci­sion. When he was also dis­missed for the ‘of­fence’, my re­ac­tion was that the de­ci­sion was some­what crazy.

I found my­self shak­ing my head in dis­be­lief. It just didn’t seem right to me that one de­bat­able foul should ef­fec­tively cost a team such a vi­tal three points and de­stroy for the huge crowd a mem­o­rable and en­ter­tain­ing spec­ta­cle.

I fully ac­cept that vi­o­lent con­duct should be dealt with in a harsh man­ner with zero tol­er­ance. No­body wants to see nas­ti­ness/in­jury on a field of play.

But the idea that a soft penalty award (and I call it soft be­cause the ball looked to me as if it was run­ning through to the keeper any­way) should also have red card reper­cus­sions is an ex­am­ple of pun­ish­ment be­ing dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the crime.

I have more sym­pa­thy with red cards be­ing is­sued for fouls out­side the box, which pre­vent goalscor­ing op­por­tu­nies and do not lead to penal­ties. But re­ally, for me, this is an area where foot­ball could learn from rugby and in­tro­duce a sin-bin.

Al­low­ing refs to pe­nalise un­gentle­manly play us­ing the sin-bin phi­los­o­phy would pro­vide much bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties to fairly pun­ish in-game ‘crimes’ of deny­ing goalscor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Changes to the game in­volv­ing tech­nol­ogy are one thing. Sim­ple changes like this should surely be con­sid­ered.

Far less games were ‘de­cided’ by de­ci­sions in years gone by, it seems to me. Too many ‘opin­ion’ based de­ci­sions with sig­nif­i­cant con­se­quences dam­age the game.

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