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Upholding Carroll red card avoids setting precedent
10:31am Tuesday 11th February 2014 in Sport
THANK goodness that West Ham's appeal against striker Andy Carroll's red card was rejected.
The Football Association's original decision might not have been agreeable to the Premier League club but for an independent tribunal to overturn the call would have set a dangerous precedent.
It would have undermined the FA's authority in such cases and made it open season for clubs to continually mount challenges to rulings that don't go their way.
The Hammers will feel hard done by, but here's the thing. Howard Webb's brandishing of the red card in their 2-0 win against Swansea City may have seemed harsh, but the television replay didn't help Carroll.
The bulky striker, who will now serve a three-match suspension, swung his arm at Chico Flores and in this day and age, such actions, intended or not, often give the referee little choice.
However, the real villain of the piece here is Flores. His reaction, going to ground clutching his face when he was caught across the top of his hair bun, was nothing short of disgraceful.
While the FA were quick to punish Carroll and the tribunal stand by the ruling, the Spaniard has got away Scot free.
Football is a physical game and there will always be contact between players. That aspect should not be taken away, even if it means the odd player gets his marching orders from time to time.
But there is no place for faking injury and when such an offence can be proved, as would have blatantly been the case when the authorities reviewed replays to ban Carroll, retrospective action should be taken.
It was an opportunity to make a stand and they missed it.