Brutal Tackles In Football Must Stop – FIFA Medical Chief

Ollie Irish

7th, October 2010


By Ollie Irish

This just in from the chairman of FIFA’s medical committee, a Belgian by the name of Michel D’Hooghe.

“I have made myself a compilation of hard tackles with dramatic consequences over the last two or three years in the most important competitions in the world,” D’Hooghe said at the ‘Leaders in Football’ conference.

“I do not dare to present it, it would take away your appetite. It is terrible. This must go out (of the game).

“Sometimes I call the referee the first doctor on the pitch, not because he has to have a medical knowledge, but because he has a role in that most important part of medicine, namely prevention.

“This is my wish, that all that brutality that sometimes goes close to criminality on the pitch is thrown out in the interest of our players and of a nice football game.

“If you permit yourself to end the career of your colleague in the other shirt, why should I say that you should come back after 14 days? I think you should sanction these things very severely, that means a long, long expulsion from the game.”

Pies says: FIFA suit in ‘talking sense’ shock! But just how do you go about changing the mindset of players like Nigel de Jong or Karl Henry? That’s so much easier said than done. It’s up to the football authorities first to sanction the “long expulsions” that D’Hooghe rightly speaks of, but also up to managers to make it clear to their players that such tackles are not acceptable. In England especially, a cultural shift is necessary, which obviously won’t happen in a matter of days.

You say?

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  1. M. Bison Essien says:

    I think part of the problem is the disparity in technical ability in the Prem. This isn’t a problem for the blue collar Blackburns and Boltons of the world, it’s a problem for the teams that have players who are difficult to deal with because of their abilities. There needs to be a top down approach if a culture switch is going to occur. You’d be a fool to believe managers like Big Sam don’t have a very good idea how to beat a point out of a technically superior side. Play smash mouth football against a group of imports that can’t handle it because it’s not the environment they grew up in, and they will start to become hesitant and make mistakes. It’s simple. It’s a shame, but it’s true. Nigel de Jong is an anomaly because he actually plays for a team that can technically compete at the top levels, but he can’t. He doesn’t have enough technical defending ability to deal with Stu Holden even! Players that can’t survive in the Prem without injuring the players that are putting people in the stands should receive much harsher punishment.

  2. spectator says:

    well these sort of tackles are part of a cynicism that includes professional fouls as well, all designed to prevent opponents from showing their true ability. a yellow isn’t enough but a red can be to harsh, i think introducing sin-binning mightn’t be a bad move, to give ref’s an option between them.

  3. Luke says:

    I thoroughly agree, sin-binning is surely worth a trial?

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