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Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 15:30 UK

Red cards could carry longer bans

Martin Taylor (left) was banned for three games for his tackle on Eduardo (right)
Eduardo (right) was out for a year after the challenge by Taylor (left)

The Football Association has said it will take into account the severity of injuries when suspending players after they have been shown red cards.

The standard ban is for three matches - as was handed to Birmingham's Martin Taylor despite his tackle putting Arsenal's Eduardo out for a year.

Bans may go up or down on the grounds of "a number of important factors including intent, force and injury".

But the FA insists it would only apply to "truly exceptional cases".

It said the standard ban "will remain appropriate in the vast majority of cases" and "it is not intended for this policy to encourage or lead to the systematic, regular review of standard punishments".

In another disciplinary rule change, bans from red cards shown in pre-season friendlies will not apply to competitive first-team games.

The FA's decision comes the day after new rules were introduced aimed at stopping managers, players and other team officials making derogatory comments about officials before a match.

"Any media comments relating to appointed match officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed," read an FA statement.

"Such pre-match comments will be deemed improper and dealt with accordingly."

The FA has also said it will take a tougher stance on the harassment of match officials by players.

Clubs can now be charged if three or more players surround the referee in a "confrontational manner", the charge previously required officials to report "harassment or intimidation" by three or more players.

However, rules governing post-match comments will remain unchanged.

"Post-match comments in relation to match officials and incidents are still permitted provided they are not personal in their nature, imply bias or attack the integrity of the officials in charge of the match, or in any other respect bring the game into disrepute," the statement added.

Before last season's FA Cup semi-final between Everton and Manchester United, Everton manager David Moyes questioned the appointment of referee Mike Riley.

He said it had been suggested to him that Riley was a United fan and after the match United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said Moyes' comments influenced the referee's performance after he failed to give a penalty for a challenge on Danny Welbeck.

Everton went on to win the tie on penalties.

Meanwhile, managers and coaches who are reported for misconduct in the technical area will now be subject to a fast-track disciplinary system taking three or four weeks - previously cases could take several months to reach a conclusion.



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see also
Riley lands referees chief role
26 Jun 09 |  Premier League
Ferguson questions ref decision
19 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
FA defends Riley Cup appointment
16 Apr 09 |  Everton
Fagan may consider legal action
18 Sep 08 |  Hull
Guthrie escapes increased FA ban
17 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Newcastle 1-2 Hull
13 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Eduardo intent on swift recovery
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Hansen on Eduardo's injury
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Wenger retracts Taylor criticism
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Birmingham 2-2 Arsenal
23 Feb 08 |  Premier League


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