2007.02.15 letter from the FA 02

February 16, 2007

Dear Kevin

Many thanks for e-mail.

Our Customer Relations Unit developed a Contact Form for the general public in order to help us respond to the literally hundreds of thousands of queries we receive each year. If you could direct your correspondents to our form (www.TheFA.com/Feedback) and advise them to select ‘other’ from the drop-down menu as you have done, we’d be much obliged. I ask this for two reasons – primarily because it means your correspondence is reaching its intended recipients but also because FootballForAll@TheFA.com is actually reserved for reporting incidents of racism and discrimination.   

I’d like to express a great deal of sympathy with your cause at the outset of my response. The integrity of the game is paramount and players have a responsibility as role models towards all those who watch and play the game.

You mention both The FA and the Premier League in your e-mail, however, your concerns cut across all leagues and all levels of the game – neither a league, The FA nor any other national association can unilaterally change the Laws of the Game. Indeed a clampdown on diving or the introduction of any form of video technology or retrospective action would require a worldwide approach. Changes and amendments to the Laws are the remit of the International Football Association Board (IFAB). Whilst I won’t go into detail on the IFAB (you can read all about it here), the Laws of the Game are administered first and foremost by FIFA and are universal and applicable to football at all levels.

IFAB is often perceived to be sensitive to any fundamental changes to the ‘beautiful game’. This is because the game rests on the fundamental premise that ‘the referee’s decision is final’. Although styles of play differ from continent to continent, football is played under the same rules everywhere in the World. It is essential that all amendments to rule changes are for the benefit of the game at all levels and not only for elite clubs and competitions.

The FA does not support the introduction of a system of post-game analysis that changes the results of games once they’d finished. This would be impossible to implement and completely unworkable – more importantly it would fundamentally undermine the role of the Match Officials. However, The FA understands the frustration felt by supporters who feel that apparent injustice on the field of play could be rectified with the use of retrospective disciplinary action. At the time of writing, FIFA do not allow The FA to take retrospective disciplinary action for incidents which the referee has seen and dealt with at the time (please note that this can include taking no action if he or she deems no offence has been committed). Nevertheless, The FA are in on-going discussions with FIFA on retrospective disciplinary action, and have raised diving as a priority area where video evidence could be used.

The next IFAB meeting takes place next month. You may be interested to know that agenda items include presentations on goal-line technology, the use of pitch side TV monitors and video technology.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to write. The Customer Relations Unit exists in order to collate views from the general public, build a picture of public opinion and feed this back internally within The FA.

Best wishes,

Alex Howells | Customer Relations Officer
The Football Association
25 Soho Square | London | W1D 4FA
T +44 (0) 20 7745 4545

**If you wish to reply, please click on the below link to go to the contact us form and select ‘Other’ as the subject.**



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