RUGBY HAVE THE ANSWER WITH A SIN-BIN
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.