FIFA Official Concerned About Criminal Acts In Football


Ben Arfa’s broken leg has today drawn criticism from a FIFA official, as the inquest into the Frenchman’s horrific injury seems to widen in scope.

Dr. Michael D’Hooghe seen with UEFA Presdient Michel Platini

Indeed today a senior FIFA Executive Committee member, Belgian Michel D’Hooghe, who is also chairman of FIFA’s medical committee, said he knew of players who had intentionally gone out to injure their opponents.

The world football’s governing body FIFA should let everyone know this cannot continue.

D’Hooghe says that the ‘beautiful game’ is being tarnished by “criminal acts” on the football pitch as he told BBC Sport today:

“Some players come on the field… simply to provoke injuries in other persons – to break a career,” “I have two eyes, where I can see what happens – how some acts are really criminal.”

“I have made a compilation of brutality over the last two or three years in the main competitions in the world and it is amazing,”

“On the one hand I am happy that some leaders take responsibility – on the other hand I am very sad that he (Van Marwijk – the Dutch manager) did not do the same at the final of the World Cup.”

That refers to Van Marwijk sending DeJong home on Monday after he arrives at the Dutch training headquarters for their upcoming Euro qualifying games, and of course he is also referring to DeJong’s tackle that hit the chest of Spaniard Xabi Alonso in the World Cup final.

We are pleased that this is now getting some attention, and there has to be some restrictions put on some of the tackles we see, some of which are even said to be within the rules of the game.

If that’s true, then the rules of the game of football need to change,  before we end up with too many more players (usually the most skilled ones) being crippled.

Comments welcome.



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36 comments so far

  • MacToon

    Oct 8, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #1

    “criminal acts”

    Couldn’t agree more.

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  • Indian Magpie

    Oct 8, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #2

    First, But who cares. Will now the FA act

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  • Indian Magpie

    Oct 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #3

    Okay not First

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  • gorskino10

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #4

    I love a good tackle as much as the next guy and sometimes you may injury someone but Karl Henry and De Jong are different than most, they aim to hurt the player and then win the ball (not the other way around) Thanksfully its the 1st time i am glad Platini is in charge because he would act a little more onto this matter due to Ben Arfa being French, This is becoming more an more common with these 2 player (Henry/De Jong) they can literally wipe our players careers for what? to extent there miserable exisitance? they are average players at best its a pain they have injured much more talented players in Zamora and Arfa.

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #5

    On this line folks – this is an exchange I have had with the FA over the past few days – I will post my first letter first – their reply and my response to it in the following three posts. (apologies Indian Mag – appreciate you have read my letter already)

    Dear Sir / Madam of the F.A.

    Football and in particular the English Premier League, the most famous league in the world, sits at a crossroads. In recent times in England we have seen the rise of a number of repeat offenders, thugs and violent individuals in football, where in a normal civilised society the offender would be imprisoned for reckless assault.

    I state again reckless forms part of the criminal law appertaining to assault.

    In recent times, Lee Cattermole, Karl Henry and Nigel De Jong from Manchester City have been regularly recklessly endangering, injuring and, as some may form the view, assaulting their fellow professionals. We now stand at a grand total of 6 leg breaks and a significant number of other bone breaks by these players in the last year or so.

    These players are often seen high fiving their fellow pro’s after the victim is ‘stretchered off’ or tackled heavily – maybe an indication of ‘intent’ a jury might say.

    How much longer will the FA stand by and do nothing? This weekend we saw the sickening challenge by Nigel De Jong on Hatem Ben Arfa – a rising football star – your own appointed referee Martin Atkinson, did not even deem the incident a foul when De Jong’s supposedly ‘trailing leg’ was driven through, in a scissor movement, Ben Arfa’s standing leg thereby snapping it in two. To observers it appeared to be a tackle meant to leave its mark – and in my opinion on further review of global replays of non censored TV coverage – it was a hideous cynical assault.

    The, and I use the term loosely ‘referee’ then waved up Ben Arfa from the ground. THAT very action indicates Atkinson HAD NOT SEEN THE LEG SNAP IN TWO so did not see the second ‘trailing’ leg driven through Ben Arfa. Yet the national press today reports the FA takes the view it is powerless to act as Atkinson saw the offence. I ask – would it take the same view of the victim had been a David Beckham or Wayne Rooney?

    The world is watching, players are watching, why on earth would the best players in the world arrive here knowing the savageness of the league that offers protection only for the few ‘chosen ones’ whether they be clubs or individuals.

    This has to be stopped now, either the FA can take control OR may I suggest that a simple complaint to the police will result in them being obliged to take control. Repeated actions, by the same offenders, with similar reckless consequence, over time can be used to prove the reckless nature of these assaults.

    At the moment you hold the keys to your destiny, let’s just hope you don’t force others who have the power to do something take control and enforce the will of the law into a game that we all love.

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #6

    Their Reply

    Thank you for contacting The Football Association regarding the incident involving Nigel De Jong and Hatem Ben Arfa during The Premier League match Manchester City v Newcastle United on 3rd October.

    The referee has confirmed that he saw this incident and that he dealt with it at the time. Therefore no further action can be taken against De Jong.

    FIFA rules prevent the “re-refereeing” of matches. FIFA are the world governing body of football and The FA is just one of 208 member associations, all bound to the same set of rules. This particular rule prevents The FA from taking disciplinary action on incidents which are seen and dealt with at the time by match officials (this includes the referee taking no action) except in the most exceptional circumstances. Therefore if the match officials confirm to The FA they have seen an incident, The FA cannot act retrospectively.

    If you are interested in reading more about The FA’s disciplinary processes please view page 321 of the link below:

    http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/~/media/Files/PDF/TheFA/Rules_Regs/FA_Handbook_2010-11-v1.ashx/FA_Handbook_2010-11-v1.pdf

    We hope that this clarifies our position. All feedback we receive from supporters is much appreciated – this feedback is collated and used to build a picture of the public opinion and is subsequently fed back internally within the organisation. Please rest assured your comments will form part of this process.

    Thank you once again for taking the time to write.

    Kind regards

    Alex Burkwood

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #7

    My response

    Dear Alex

    If you had taken to time to read my email instead of dismissing it as a mass general complaint – you would have noted my email was about the criminal law and about repeated reckless assaults.

    The criminal law states reckless assaults are a crime – and where a player has a pattern of playing whereby they repeatedly cause reckless assault with serious injury – that could form evidence in a criminal trial – a pattern a jury may also find as an indication of guilt – especially when accompanied by a high five to team mates. You may note from my email address I may understand this area and have the capacity to do something.

    IF you deem that you have no power to act – or manage the situation – you will have also chosen to try and ignore the provable lie that Atkinson saw the foul in its entirety – as he had insisted and waved play on – thereby HE DID NOT SEE THE LEG BREAK OR THE LEG THAT CAUSED THE INJURY – or are you suggesting to me that he saw the leg snap in two but did not warrant it sufficient to stop play? NONSENSE!

    You are trying to manage the situation – BUT IT WILL NOT WORK – I ask again that you do it in the right way by taking issue or issuing guidance that this brings the game into disrepute. By continued actions over a course of time. Other persons in this matter who may take a proactive view.

    I say again – if you do not act – you may be forced through publicity and embarrassment to act, and in the future create far more problems for you by encouraging criminal complaints re these repeat offenders.

    Sincerely

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Stardust fella, I too have written to the FA & PL regarding this matter & too received a reply from both, the PL said it was upto the FA to take action & the FA have said their hands are tied by the Fifa ruling!!

    I’ll be very interested to read the reply you got from the FA to see if it’s the sam as the email I got from them today 🙂

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #9

    Sorry mate, you put yer posts up at the sam time, yes your FA reply is identical to mine, what a complete bunch of morons they are!!

    I think everyone should write to them & complain about this incident & that would really get up there noses if nowt else!!!

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #10

    Yeah Solaid – thats why I have re mailed them as I said to him / her they hadnt even read my mail – stupid gets – do they think people are that stupid!

    Yes they obviously do! (in my case they might be right lol)

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #11

    Yeaah they must, I’ve replied to them since, waiting now of their reply to see what this Alex comes up with next.. lol 🙂

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #12

    I quite like the part where the FA (Alex) says: This particular rule prevents The FA from taking disciplinary action on incidents which are seen and dealt with at the time by match officials (this includes the referee taking no action) except in the most exceptional circumstances. Therefore if the match officials confirm to The FA they have seen an incident, The FA cannot act retrospectively.

    So they “cannot act retrospectively” but they can in the “most exceptional circumstances” isn’t that an oxymoron?? lol

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #13

    I managed to send emails to 20 of fifas delegates & members over this, I have also made a complaint to the police, & my mp has also taken the matter up with the FA. I never again want to see a footballer getting injured in this manner again, I don’t care if they are black white or any shade in between, I don’t care what team they play for, I love football, but more than that I like to see honest football, yes the ref will make mistakes, and as long as they make them in both directions, that’s football but when they only go one way that’s cheating, we have had 4 penalty’s given against us, we have had 1 penalty given & two stone wall penalty’s turned down, the one against Everton the panel on motd claimed it was two 100% penalty’s as Nolan was hacked twice, so this is cheating you can miss 1 buy not 3. & as for Martin Atkinson, the cheating coward can’t even admit he’s wrong, the whole footballing worlds (bar a few from Manchester) except this was an evil assault. i have a solution every tackle that results in an injury goes before a panel of experts (ex footballers, doctors, legal,) to judge to what extent the tackle was unreasonable, this should have a penalty that matches the injury, with a portion that could be paid to the victim, so if your tackle puts someone out of the game for 10 weeks, 10 week ban, and the victim offered 5 weeks of the offenders pay as compensation, so it could be made up of say 6 week ban without pay and 5 weeks pay as compo, and as it then adds up to 11 weeks justice seen to be done. the only way is to make them financially culpable, hit them in the pockets.

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  • Ericles

    Oct 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #14

    Well done Solaidback and Stardust for your actions. It seems to me that the FA are bending over backwards to do nothing. Does this mean the FA are also ignoring FIFA too?

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #15

    I have also been in touch with both the above

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  • Ericles

    Oct 8, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #16

    If De Jong had broken Ben’s leg whilst behind the wheel of a car he would have charged with reckless driving etc. Was the ref too spineless to issue a red card to De Jong for fear of angering the home crowd? Anyway – what did the other officials see? They could not all have been blind. Let’s face it – the shameful incident was seen by millions on TV worldwide.

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 8, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #17

    I totally agree with your post Dave 1961, something needs to be done & if players know that if they injure another players, they would be banned, they may well cease tackling all together but at least we’ll have a free-flowing game & raf;s won’t have too much to do 🙂 so not make as many mistakes as they seem to be doing these days.. 🙁

    Let the punishment fit the crime I say, De Jong should be banned for the length of time it takes HBA to play again 🙂

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #18

    some pictures of the FA problem solving

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  • ronaldeano

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #20

    Stardust,
    I also sent an email to the FA via thefa.com. I got EXACTLY the same reply

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  • ronaldeano

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #21

    This is what I wrote…

    I am writing this with regards to the game between Newcastle united and Manchester city on Sunday 3rd October 2010, I was absolutely appalled by the horrific tackle by Nigel De Jong on nufc’s Hatem Ben Arfa which resulted in a double leg break. I was even more disgusted that the referee ‘Martin Atkinson’ made the inexcusable decision not to punish De Jong. Mr Atkinson made a lot more inexcusable mistakes in this game which, in my opinion, affected the result of the game in favour of man city. My question is, will the FA be taking any action against mr Atkinson for this terrible refereeing performance, and against Nigel De Jong for breaking the leg of Ben Arfa, the second player this season De Jong has assaulted?

    I got the same reply stardust got…

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #22

    Dave – If you made a criminal complaint of assault to Greater Manchester Police – they’d be obliged to investigate.

    The police do NOT need a complaint by a victim to investigate a crime – as NO ONE can consent to a serious assault.

    This especially applies to crimes that are easy to prove in the absence of a complaint by the victim – for example the likes of De Jong’s tackles being caught time and time again on TV camera’s.

    As reckless assaults are crimes, and the fact they have been caught on camera – its a straight forward case – and if the Police tried to dodge the issue – they’d be on very very sticky ground (as they could be seen to perverting the course of justice) Only the CPS can take a view on this case after being presented with all of the evidence.

    The complainant can be any member of the public and that person MUST not allow themselves to be fobbed off. (Lets hope the GMP copper taking your complaint is a Man Utd fan lol)

    Its interesting to see that FIFA are now using the word criminal (I take it a number of complaints have now been made to them re the criminal nature of these tackles)

    Aye Ronaldeano – it looks like he/she just used a mass mailer program to send their reply – what tits – they must think that fans dont discuss these things on blogs lol.

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #23

    Dave I just dont want to know how you came to find that picture lol.

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  • munch27

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #24

    Stardust // Oct 8, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    what tits – they must think that fans dont discuss these things on blogs lol.

    No They just think they are better than us mere fans.

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #25

    what picture?

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  • munch27

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #26

    I have been thinking of a way to get something done about this and i know this sound synical but if every sky subscriber and espn were too write too sky and tell them we were cancelling our SkySports subscription “until THUGGERY is taken out of football” i think sky may make the PL and FA see sense on this matter.

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #27

    if it’s from that link its a still out of a movie the human centipede about as sick as Martin Atkinson made me fell

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #28

    I have now plucked up the courage to look at the hd video I have spotted 1 high five I will get the players name and make a complaint about this and also weather there was a conspiracy if Roberto Mancini told them to do Hatem it could escalate into a national scandal, we now have to say that it was not a result of just a heat of the moment rush of blood. but a planed assault.

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  • curmon

    Oct 8, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #29

    Here is a suggestion !

    If indeed this action is deemed to be a criminal offence perpetrated by de Jong. It should be possible to implicate the FA as accessories as they are Condoning or Accepting that criminality is OK. By not pursuing the criminals they are an accessory after the fact.

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #30

    Curmon – theyve done nothing wrong in that respect – they are simply commenting on football rules – not criminal matters.

    Dave – yes the link! Yak!

    It was the high five – and the celeration of the Henry tackles on JB that make these all look premeditated.

    In all likelihood Mancini would have given instructions – but that cant be proved unless those in the dressing room spoke out – then Mr Mancini would be in trouble too.

    The fact is a complaint about the matter would mean all players would have to be interviewed – any friends of Ben Arfa in that changing room and we might find out the answer!

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #31

    latest I will up load some screen shots first then return does anyone know someone that can lip read, as I have a shot where Milner says to Lescott something like its gone too far but that’s all I could make out

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #32

    the images I am uploading are all time stamped just screen shots from vlc media player and are all the ben arfa incident apart from the couple of the penalty I will work on it as much as I can to see if I can get any audio streams out of the video clip, it is possible to split the audio and remove the commentary, as it was broadcast simultaneously in many languages.

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  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #33
  • dave 1961

    Oct 8, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #34

    I have up loaded the pictures, if you have a wheel mouse you can run the pictures and its clearly meant to take Hatem out to me it’s so clear.

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  • Stardust

    Oct 8, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #35

    Ive downloaded the low five from lescott too! Cheers Dave

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  • Spuggy

    Oct 8, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #36

    For all the…it wasnt a bad challenge mob….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUnRbFkB16k&feature=fvwk

    I rest my case. De jong = thug.

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