FA rules must be changed to make it easier to overturn red cards, says Nottingham Law School expert

A Nottingham Law School sports expert is urging the Football Association to make it easier to overturn red card decisions when referees have made obvious mistakes.

A Nottingham Law School sports expert is urging the Football Association to make it easier to overturn red card decisions when referees have made obvious mistakes.

Principal lecturer Simon Boyes will tell the Sporting Justice Conference being hosted by Nottingham Law School's Centre for Conflict, Rights and Justice, that the current system needs overhauling by the FA so it is simpler for it to be accepted that a referee has "got it wrong".

Currently, if a footballer is shown a red card, he receives an automatic three-match ban.

Clubs and players often appeal against the scale of the punishment but the initial decision can only be overturned after a lengthy and internal process.

"It is in the interest of football, and sport generally, that referees are able to make decisions without having to worry about being held legally liable," said Mr Boyes.

"But banning a player, particularly in the top flight, could have a massive impact on his earnings and, ultimately the financial performance of the club.

"The system allows for subsequent appeals and then arbitration but it is designed to encourage internalisation of the justice system with the same body that imposes the punishment regulating itself.

"It is restrictive and weighted very much against the player and scrutiny of the processes and systems in open court."

Mr Boyes will be joined by leading sports law academics at the conference including:

  • Anglia Ruskin University's John O'Leary, who will discuss sports law and notions of justice
  • Professor Simon Gardiner, of Leeds Carnegie University, who will suggest alternative mechanism for engaging with on-field racism
  • Northumbria University Professor Mark James and University of Westminster Professor Guy Osborn, who will discuss intellectual property rights
  • Edge Hill University's Professor Richard Parrish, who will look at reforming regulations of FIFA, world football's governing body
  • Northumbria University's Dr Richard Craven, who will examine EU state aid and European football.

Nottingham Law School runs full-time and part-time masters qualifications in sports law for legal professionals dealing with UK, European and international regulations and law, as well as topics such as intellectual property rights relating to sport.

The one-day conference takes place at Nottingham Conference Centre, part of Nottingham Trent University, on Friday March 28 between 10 am and 6.30 pm and is open to anyone interested in sports law.

To book a place, please register through the Nottingham Trent University website conference events page.

FA rules must be changed to make it easier to overturn red cards, says Nottingham Law School expert

Published on 21 March 2014
  • Category: Press; Nottingham Law School

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