Sunday, March 29, 2020
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No sooner had I finished my article about the flaw I perceive in the FA's rules regarding punishments for celebrating with your own fans, as opposed to antagonising rival supporters, I clicked onto Sky Sports News and witnessed the actions of Didier Drogba.



Drogba, just back from a long lay-off, scored against Burnley to put his team in the lead in their League Cup fixture at Stamford Bridge. Despite having a whole stadium full of Blues fans ready to soak him in adulation, the Ivory Coast Hitman opted not to celebrate with those supporters whose unwavering loyalty pay his wages when he's crocked, but instead go in front of the travelling denizens of Turf Moor and pose arrogantly before them.


This posturing led to an unsavoury scene in which Drogba was struck by a coin. Ever the professional, the African striker’s response was to give the crowd a one fingered salute and then pick the offending object up and hurl it back into the crowd.


Theses actions led to Drogba garnering a substantial punishment. Oh, hang on, actually, he just received a booking. The Chelsea man antagonises the away support, then proceeds to incite a crowd further by taking actions that could conceivably have injured a child. Yellow card. Frazier Campbell scores his first goal for his new club, hugs the fans. Yellow card.

Don't get me wrong. I love a bit of cockiness, showboating and bating the crowd if done in a bantering kind of way that adds to the spectacle of the sport. I don't condone the Burnley support chucking things onto the pitch and that’s when Drogba should have backed off, realising things had escalated. My problem is with the lack of consistency with certain laws, and I think this is the root cause behind why players and managers find it difficult to respect the refs. There should be no punishment parity between the two incidents highlighted above and the sooner the officials remedy that situation, the sooner they will earn people’s respect.

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