FA sheds light on Riether incident
Published 08/11/2013 | 17:26
The German defender was suspended after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct for stamping on the Manchester United player during last Saturday's Barclays Premier League match at Craven Cottage, which the visitors won 3-1.
The Cottagers had challenged the FA's right to deal with the case retrospectively, arguing it was similar to that involving Chelsea's Fernando Torres when he escaped action for scratching Jan Vertonghen because an official had seen part of the incident.
An FA regulatory commission dismissed Fulham's argument however and imposed the ban.
New rules will come into force on November 22 allowing retrospective action in all cases, even where incidents have been partially seen.
The findings of the Riether case reveal that Fulham hired former FA compliance officer Graham Bean to argue their case.
The report by commission chairman Stuart Ripley states however:
"The commission felt that a distinction could and should be made between these two incidents in that the stamp made by Mr Riether on Mr Januzaj was one of a series of 'comings together' involving a number of players in a melee as opposed to the isolated 'coming together' of Mr Torres with Mr Vertonghen which involved just the two players.
"The referee clearly states in his written match report that the act of stamping was 'unseen by any of the match officials at the time' and having viewed the DVD footage of the incident the commission had no reason to disbelieve the referee given his position, distance from the melee and the fact that his view was likely to have been obscured."
He said: "I am 100 per cent (supportive), because you wouldn't like to think that somebody could escape dangerous play just because it hasn't been seen well by the referee and misjudged by the referee.
"This sacrosanct rule that once it has been judged by the referee nobody can come back (and be punished) means you could be a killer just because the referee doesn't have the perfect angle to see what you did.
"I completely support that and the players knowing that this can happen will only improve the situation."