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