Gilardino handball goal ban sets interesting precedent
Imagine the scenario. FIFA decides to use post-match video evidence at the 1986 World Cup. After Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-final, the Argentinian is banned for two matches and the course of football history changes.
Belgium beat West Germany in the final in Mexico City.
A two-game ban is exactly what Alberto Gilardino has received for deliberately scoring the opener with his arm in Fiorentina’s 3-1 win at Palermo on Sunday.
The Italy striker, top scorer in Serie A because of that goal, even ran away to celebrate which angered the Sicilians even more.
Post-game video evidence has often led to players being banned for violent conduct, but the Italian league’s decision to sanction Gilardino for “serious unsporting conduct” following the handball opens up a real can of worms.
If the referee had spotted Gilardino using his arm he would only have got a yellow card. Yet a review after the match leads to a two-match suspension. Why the difference?
If Gilardino deserves such punishment then why should the goal be able to stand? It doesn’t help Palermo much that he misses games against Inter Milan and Siena. If his opening goal had been ruled out, Palermo could have gone on to win the match.
Isn’t a replay a better way of settling this?
PHOTO: Fiorentina’s Alberto Gilardino (L) reacts after missing a chance against Bayern Munich, Oct 21. REUTERS/Michael Dalder. A statue of Diego Maradona (R) stands in the Hand of God church in Buenos Aires. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci