Monday 24 August 2009

Violent Conduct by Robbie Fowler

Former Liverpool favourite Robbie Fowler, who is just two games into his first season in Australia's A-League, has escaped punishment after he retaliated by acrobatically placing his boot onto an opponent's neck and upper body. Fowler is captain of North Queensland Fury, who were beaten 5-0 by home side Gold Coast United on 15 August 2009. In the 85th minute, Fowler was charged down but managed to use his agility, guile and spatial awareness (his hallmark of scoring wonderful goals for Liverpool) to "exact revenge" on his opponent.

Referee Chris Beath probably did not clearly see the off-the-ball incident (nor apparently did his assistant referees), but nevertheless dealt with the incident by talking with Fowler. No card was issued. Because of the referee's acknowledgement of the incident and according to FIFA and FFA Regulations, the Match Review Panel cannot issue punishment based on video evidence since the referee is deemed to have seen and dealt with the matter.

What can referees do to minimize such incidents? It is important for all match officials to stay alert and watch for any signs of potential trouble. Assistant referees play an important role in being an "extra pair of eyes" for the referee.

Fowler escapes FFA's fury (ABC news)
Robbie Fowler Escapes Punishment After Anderson Kick In North Queensland Fury's Loss To Gold Coast United
NINJA KICK! by Robbie Fowler (original)

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