In a decision that undoes some of the good work originally done, the FA have chosen to hand out a one match ban to Gabriel Paulista for improper conduct, The Guardian reports.
Mike Dean unquestionably made an absolute hash of our game against Chelsea, ruining what was shaping up to be an extremely competitive match with a handful of bizarre and ridiculous decisions.
One such decision was to send Gabriel off, despite Diego Costa clearly being the one who deserved a red card (or several).
The FA seemingly saw sense, and opted to rescind our man’s three match ban, and retrospectively ban Costa for three games. The Arsenal star was also facing charges of improper conduct for not leaving the field immediately after being given his marching orders though, and has now been handed a one match ban (as well as a £10,000 fine).
This decision is ridiculous on a number of levels, and it’s really hard to see how the FA have come to the conclusion they have.
Firstly, players are rarely punished so severely for improper conduct, and usually have to have said something pretty bad to the referee in order to receive a ban.
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Secondly, while Gabriel was wrong for not leaving the pitch immediately, his fury was understandable given Diego Costa’s actions and Mike Dean’s incompetence. The Brazilian had been grossly mistreated, and had just witnessed a footballing travesty.
And, as previously stated, this kind of offence rarely results in a ban. A warning or a fine is the usual result, but the FA are clearly looking to appease everyone at once by not leaning too much to one side.
Arsene Wenger and Arsenal fans are not going to be happy with the one match ban though, and Jose Mourinho is obviously furious at Diego Costa’s three match suspension – so the FA have now just annoyed everyone.
Mike Dean has also gone completely unpunished, despite the fact that it was his negligence and shocking officiating – which is beginning to look a lot like anti-Arsenal bias – that caused the problems in the first place. Diego Costa is a despicable human being and obviously shouldn’t be acting the way he has been, but everyone knows what he’s like, and if he can get away with things he’s obviously going to continue doing them.
Another question that is raised by this situation, is what would have happened if we had have accepted the improper conduct charge in the first place?
The one game ban could have been our Capital One Cup victory over Tottenham – which Gabriel was rested for anyway – and we could have him available for Leicester. Instead he will miss both, a disappointing outcome to say the least.
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Wenger seemed ready to accept this punishment, saying: “I will accept their judgement – if there is no punishment we are a bit lucky, if there is a punishment I have to take it.”
The fans are not likely to be as understanding though.