Abusing match officials should entail a penalty for players, such as being sent off or suspended. However, Lionel Messi’s four-match ban is a too harsh penalty.
In the game against Chile last week, the Argentine player appeared to use insulting and offensive language towards the assistant referee in protest against being penalized for a foul. However, despite his colorful protests, the player wasn’t sanctioned at the time
After the game, a FIFA disciplinary committee has watched video evidence and decided to impose the disproportionate ban, which could possibly be against the laws of the game.
The decision of the active match officials should stand as the incident occurred in full view of the assistant who was abused.
The sanction is at odds with the rules stating that a retrospective ban should be imposed if a player strikes an opponent out of view of all active officials
It’s clear that over-vociferous dissent will be punished this season. Referees have cautioned players who clearly step out of line in the Premier League, but none have been dismissed or banned yet.
Swearing at referees:
Referees sometimes are surprisingly unaware of players who use offensive language or swear at them as they usually focus more on the incident that lead a player be sanctioned.
However, when these incidents were reported they were dealt with strongly.
When a referee dismissed Argentine Marcelo Gallardo during one Champions League game for his second yellow card he shouted ‘F*** you, f*** you, f*** you’ directly at him which lead UEFA to impose a five-match ban, two for the red and one for each abusive word.
Four matches for swearing is a very long ban. This leaves Wales’ Neil Taylor, whose shocking tackle snapped Seamus Coleman’s leg, fearing a very lengthy suspension.