The FA have Hedged their Bets and it hasn't Worked
The FA have Hedged their Bets and it hasn't Worked.
Taking a look at the FA's decision to ban Tyrone Mings for five games.
This week the FA handed both Zlatan Ibrahimović and Tyrone Mings bans for their actions in the Manchester United - Bournemouth game. The Swedish striker was given a three match ban, a standard suspension for an elbow, while Mings was given a five match ban for stamping on Ibrahimović's head.
It is the ban for the Bournemouth defender that is more concerning. There has been a great deal of speculation over whether or not Mings' stamp was intentional or if he simply wasn't aware of Ibrahimović underneath him. Explanations have varied from it was intentional to Mings tripped over Wayne Rooney to Mings was focusing on defending. Only the player himself will know if it was intentional but the FA's decision to ban him for five games is a perplexing one.
"I am extremely disappointed at the FA's decision to ban me for five matches" - Tyrone Mings
By giving him a ban, they have effectively said that they believe it was intentional but if that is the case then the question should be why isn't he banned for longer? Stamping on a fellow player's header is seriously dangerous play and is worthy of a ban closer to ten than five. By giving a relatively low number of games, the FA are essentially hedging their bets.
The FA have been unwilling to put their neck on the line. A long ban will be met with outrage by some fans and the same would occur for no ban. The footballing chiefs have attempted to not upset anyone by giving a less than adequate ban for a stamping offence but in reality it is a weak way of dealing with the situation.
“We will study the detailed reasons of the commission once they become available, but find it extraordinary that the charges can be described as ‘proven’ when there is absolutely no evidence to prove the incident was intentional,” - A.F.C. Bournemouth
Bouremouth themselves have taken issue with the perceived intentionality that the FA have imposed and while it is no surprise to see a club defend their player, you can see where they are coming from. Plenty of stamps in the past have been deemed non-intentional, Ibrahimović was involved in one himself, and those decisions are understandable as it is impossible to read a player's mind.
The FA needed to act with conviction and take a yes-no stance on whether they believe it was intentional. By meeting somewhere in the middle they've made a mess of the situation.