While I was never an advocate of any form of indiscipline, during my stewardship previously as a Club/Association Executive, however, it would be remiss of me not to mention that on numerous occasions during the ensuing years as a Club Secretary, I had reason to appear before various Disciplinary Committees, representing the interest of players who (m) were summoned to appear, for various offences; i.e. violent conduct, abusive/threatening language etc. Within that time the submission of the Referees Report, in 48 hours was crucial towards determining: How soon the hearing will be convened; constitutional articulation of the violation, compatible to the breach of the 17 laws that governs the game. Suffice it to say, that in accordance to the competition’s rules. A player shall automatically miss the next match or two (2) matches his team plays; during which time he shall be summoned to appear before the Disciplinary Committee.
Further, there shall be no undue delays in the player (s) appearance, before the Committee, since this can be equated to “Justice delayed, Justice Denied”. Meanwhile what does the composition of the Committee entails in relation to membership? Does it have a member of the Referees Council, whose presence at the Hearing is solely for interpretation and guidance/explanation of the laws of the game? The Referees’ representative, in the same mould of the General Secretary, is not allowed to cross-examine/question any player (s).
Finally, with officiating making tremendous strides over the years ranging from courses, seminars, workshops, international exposure and a consistent increase in financial remunerations, is the latter compatible with the relevant performance? Is there still the observance of the “unwritten law-Duties of the referee, to protect the skilful player (s)? Wherein with an overall roster of 200-208 registered Elite League players, drawn from 8 GFF affiliated clubs. Are there any supportive documented evidence, entailing the most fouled player; the most cautioned player and the player receiving the “most red cards”?
Editor, if by assumption the individual receiving the most red cards/expulsions happens to be Richardson; wouldn’t it be a strange occurrence for a striker, who more than likely was left unprotected? Apart from one instance which was publicly advocated an elbowing incident; in a drawn encounter Pele vs Buxton Utd- Violent Conduct. While a few others were mentioned as “abusive language”, then the players’ right to be heard disputing what the referee reported must be entertained at the earliest given opportunity. All in all, it’s beyond any stretch of imagination, a player of the calibre of Richardson, moreover, in the twilight of his international career; on the verge of national selection and representation, would look at a referee straight in the eye and verbally abuse him. Unless, he’s a lunatic! But also it must be taken into serious consideration that it took the present GFF Administration 6 months, to fully activate its Disciplinary Committee. That is in defiance of the articulated constitutional requirement.
Strange indeed the requirement is only being fulfilled, when the highest level of club football competition, is almost being completed.
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