Wilfried Zaha’s Ban Highlights The Ludicrous Inconsistency Within The FA

1 Posted by - February 8, 2019 - Daily Thoughts, News

Whilst there can be no real argument over the fact that Wilfried Zaha deserved an additional ban for sarcastically clapping referee Andre Marriner during Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw with Southampton at the end of January, the inconsistencies now in place at the FA make it impossible to respect their judgment. 

Taking our game against the Saints into specific consideration requires a degree of context for anyone tasked with weighing up whether or not Wilfried Zaha may have had a reason to feel a tad hard done by. Thankfully, the modern world enables the club and player to highlight exactly why he reached a tipping point at that particular moment of the contest, split seconds after being denied a blatant free-kick by the consistently awful Andre Marriner. 

The game as a whole saw Southampton rotationally fouling the Palace winger, with Oriol Romeu undoubtedly the biggest culprit over the course of the 90 minutes. Quite how the former Chelsea man managed to avoid even a yellow card from referee Marriner is beyond me but as always, the referees are protected from any real scrutiny or punishment by those at the top of the game. 

Aside from Zaha, Marriner missed a clear elbow from Romeu on James Tomkins inside the penalty area and waved play-on after a potential leg-breaker on Andros Townsend from Jack Stephens midway through the opening 45 minutes. Whilst none of this excuses Zaha for clapping him following the yellow card, it does at least offer an insight into the thought-process which led him to that point. 

Running alongside this particular narrative is the case of Burnley striker Ashley Barnes, who just a few days later, screamed abuse into the face of a linesman from mere inches away, only to get away scot-free on the basis of “passion” being shown. It is that lack of consistency which boils the blood of Palace fans when it comes to Zaha, whose unfair reputation led Marriner to not punish the fouls on him at St Mary’s in the manner he should have. 

I’m not one to suggest that there is an open and blatant conspiracy against the Palace man but there is no doubt in my mind that subconsciously, referees, linesman and pundits across the game look upon him with a different perspective to the vast majority of players operating in the Premier League and at a base level, that just isn’t right. 

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  • Geone February 8, 2019 - 8:49 am Reply

    Prowse also got away Scot free.

  • Gordon February 8, 2019 - 9:12 am Reply

    I guess we’ll find out in Roy’s press conference today, but the FA are saying that the additional match suspension doesn’t come into force until after Wilf decides whether or not to appeal. Might the timing of this make him eligible for the W Ham game and delay his suspension to the Doncaster cup match?

  • Kevin February 8, 2019 - 9:26 am Reply

    Forget the timeframe FA needs to be consistent with their rulings. it seems they pick and choose, what about ref who make wrong or silly decisions why aren’t they made accountable

  • Gordon February 8, 2019 - 9:58 am Reply

    My query about the timing was just a point of interest as I’d much prefer Wilf to sit out the Doncaster match than W Ham. I think RH might well have rested him for the cup match anyway.
    On the refereeing point, they are accountable. All their performances are reviewed individually and these reviews influence their grading and selection.

  • Steve Kennedy February 8, 2019 - 10:28 am Reply

    All officials at any level in any sport need to have played the sport to apresheate the passion that goes with it.
    These referees are classroom refs that have never played the game, let’s start training footballers to ref at top level.
    The leagues can afford top money to pay them as a percentage of the players wages could go to help fund refs wages.
    I’m sure the players would prefer that

  • Gordon February 8, 2019 - 11:00 am Reply

    Even if they had the necessary humility & patience I doubt the pampered pri madonnas who play the game today would be prepared to suffer the level of scrutiny and abuse referees face day in day out.

  • ee signing February 8, 2019 - 1:27 pm Reply

    I make you correct Gordon. I think though that the passion egendered can be quite well understood by anyone whos ever played even at pub level, Having done a bit of refereeing years ago I learned that very quickly !

  • Wiseoldowl February 8, 2019 - 1:49 pm Reply

    Some reasonable points made here, but let’s be honest, Wilf deserved to go, and Barnes didn’t.
    The sport can never be completely automated, and that’s the beauty of it.

  • Eric The Ninja February 8, 2019 - 4:33 pm Reply

    Obviously I’m hopelessly biased and would find a way to justify it if Wilf burned down my house. That said, Marriner, Clattenburg… you hardly notice a good ref. The bad ones always stick out.

  • Ian February 8, 2019 - 5:45 pm Reply

    Arguably Wilf – and Barnes – deserve suspension.
    But unarguably Marriner should be sacked. His persistent failure to protect skilful players from deliberate foul, and sometimes dangerous, challenges threatens to damage the entire Premier League. If the FA had any interest in the “good of the game”, they would get rid of him.

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