Gerhard Kapl(at right): A fire and brimstone kind of chief
Time to dust off those videos and mete out retrospective punishment to those who deceive referees.
What, its not going to happen?
Only Eduardo gets to be the poster boy. Eighteen months ago he was the poster boy for tackles gone horribly wrong. What has he done to deserve these honours?
Arsenal awaits UEFA’s “reasoned decision” on Thursday and then have three days to present their appeal.
How ridiculous does this sound? A referee who stands by his decision is basically told he was being fooled by the player. Manuel Gonzalez the referee defended his decision, in his eyes he was not conned into awarding the penalty. I think in this case, it is not just Arsenal that should feel outraged but so too referees. I want to see self aggrandizing Graham Poll take a stand just like he did with Tom Ovrebo in the Barca vs Chelsea CL semi-final.
UEFA took less than an hour to consider Eduardo’s case and basically reiterated that divers would only get booked. They had already pre-judged the case. So Eduardo gets stuck with a two match ban because in their eyes, he got away with a deception. The message clearly is become a better diver, not that diving is inherently damaging to the game.
Gerhard Kapl, UEFA’s chief of discipline also framed Eduardo’s conduct as “gross unsporting behaviour”. His Pilate like absolutism: “in this case, there are no exceptional circumstances that would justify a plea for mercy”. Even Ted Bundy was given that chance.
First rule: If Eduardo has to be the fall guy, can we stop with the labels. Unlike some players, he does not have a record of deliberately fooling referees. These words also have an inflammatory resonance beyond just club football. The Croatians are feeling mighty aggrieved.
Second rule: Lets reconcile the rule. If a deception is detected retroactively, why should the punishment be different? The thought of carrying over a booking should be enough of a deterrent.
Kapl has some history as the official defending the referee’s decision as correct when Van Nistelrooy was controversially declared on-side after he scored a goal in the Euro 2008 match between the Netherlands and Italy while Christian Panucci went out the sideline with an injury.
The interesting thing is three years ago, Kapl was the only one who disagreed with UEFA’s decision not to punish Rangers for anti-Catholic chants. He called it “discriminatory abuse” and wanted a £25,000 fine levied and a stadium stand closed down. As the chief of discipline he is perfectly comfortable flinging around these labels. It also makes him, shall we say, a bit arbitrary?