Peter Young
19 March 2004
England Football Online
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Comment: A Revealing Chronology

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Hypocrisy and Red Faces at the Football Association

Call it fate or what you will, disparate events sometimes conspire to send a message.  Here are certain events of the past week which, combined, send a clear and well-deserved message about the Football Association.

Tuesday, 16 March 2004―The Football Association website announces new disciplinary procedures designed to speed up the process. 

Wednesday, 17 March 2004―The Football Association website reports that the disciplinary case against Chelsea's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for violent conduct during an F.A. Cup match at Scarborough―has been adjourned due to the non-availability of a key witness―.

Thursday, 18 March 2004―A Football Association appeals panel upholds the eight-month ban imposed on Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand because he failed to show up for a drug test, having forgotten about it.  The panel accepts that Ferdinand had not ingested any drugs.

Friday, 19 March 2004―The English newspapers report the real reason Hasselbaink’s hearing had to be postponed although all involved save the key witness showed up for it:  the Football Association forgot to let the key witness, the match referee, know about the hearing.  

Perhaps  even the now-embarrassed hypocrites at the Football Association will acknowledge the message:  that people do forget things, sometimes even vitally important things related to their job.