The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

WE CAN be ab­so­lutely sure of some­thing: in the weeks to come, Si­mon Mig­no­let will not be the only goal­keeper pe­nalised in the way he was last week.

Against Bordeaux in the Europa League, the Liver­pool keeper gave a free-kick away af­ter hold­ing on to the ball for 20 sec­onds when the max­i­mum time per­mit­ted is six. Bordeaux scored from the re­sult­ing in­di­rect free-kick.

A domino ef­fect rip­ples through in sit­u­a­tions like this. One de­ci­sion in­evitably leads to an­other.

The time­keep­ers will be watch­ing keep­ers very closely go­ing for­wards to mea­sure the sixsec­ond rule.

The ques­tion arises around eq­ui­tabil­ity. If a rule is en­forced to the let­ter then there can be no ar­gu­ment. Where there can be an ar­gu­ment is when there is in­con­sis­tency.

A de­ci­sion made around an am­bigu­ous and rarely en­forced rule could be a dif­fer­ence be­tween pro­mo­tion or rel­e­ga­tion.

Mo­ments like this are mo­ments when clar­ity is re­quired.

It must not be left to pun­dits to de­bate the rights and wrongs.We all need to know very clearly how ref­er­ees will be told to en­force the rules from this mo­ment for­wards.

And they then need to fol­low that edict in a con­sis­tent man­ner.

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