The FA adopts new approach to 'not seen' incidents

Wednesday 06 Nov 2013
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The FA has extended its ability to charge ‘not seen’ incidents after a mid-season review.

For some ten years under its current regulations The FA has been able to bring retrospective action for certain sending-off incidents not seen by the match officials during the game.

The FRA (Football Regulatory Authority) has now given its approval so that The FA will be able to consider retrospective action in the two following situations, in addition to those already within the existing charging policy:

  • firstly, for acts of violent conduct that occur secondarily to a challenge for the ball;
  • and secondly, in off-the-ball incidents where one or more match official did see the players coming together, but the match officials’ view was such that none of them had the opportunity to make a decision on an act of misconduct that took place within that coming together.

This policy adjustment will be implemented in the Premier League, Football League and Football Conference (National Division) from 22 November, immediately following the international break. The FA has contacted clubs in these leagues to inform them of the impending change.

FA Director of Governance Darren Bailey said: "This enables The FA to consider acts of violent conduct, like an elbow or a stamp, which have occurred after a challenge for the ball or coming together of players.

"It is sometimes difficult for officials to see such incidents, as they are often concentrating solely on the challenge for possession of the ball, and we are mindful of this. Also, where off-the-ball incidents are concerned, the policy adjustment will allow action to be taken where an act of misconduct could not have been seen by the match officials, even though they may have seen some part of the players coming together.

"This is an important step forward for the game and provides an appropriate level of discretion for The FA to consider action. However, we remain of the view that the best outcome for all is that referees are able to make correct judgements on the day to benefit the teams involved."

By FA Staff