Now I know that everything about this group is supposed to be hush, hush to the public but come on really in this day and age of trying to be transparent. I mean the mission statement of the group is:
To preserve the integrity and reputation of the game and Major League Soccer, and to assist in ensuring player safety.
Now that is a worthy mission statement for a group, but is that really what they are about? I mean within a half page of their Guidelines for 2010 (the most recent version I was able to dig up), they go on talk about a virtual gag order on players and team staff who might question the officials. We did see a bigger fine for questioning the officials this year than either fine given to players who this group deemed worthy of punishment for diving. The very nature of this group isn't to preserve the integrity of the game it is to add additional punishment. Did they preserve the integrity of the game by reversing the red card falsely given to Nat Borchers back on July 4th against New England, or the one given to Jonh Kennedy Hurtado on September 10th? Nope they were silent on those events and many others this year that directly impacted both the integrity and reputation of the game and Major League Soccer.
Indeed the 6 person Committee actually spells out the things they do review you can see them after the jump:
So this list was the one going into 2010, to my understanding these were the standard from 2007 until this year:
- Where the referee sees an incident and issues a red card, the Committee may review the play for further disciplinary action, over and above the mandatory suspension and fine. The Committee will add suspension and/or fines over and above the mandatory one game suspension for those offenses the Committee deems to be of an egregious or reckless nature, or where the Committee believes it must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game, including in particular but without limitation the dangerous use of elbows, forearms and fists to the head and neck of an opponent.
- Where the referee does not see the incident and therefore does not have the opportunity to act, the Committee will review any and all evidence and may act to discipline a player (e.g., an off-the-ball offense).
Where the referee sees an incident and either does not act, or rules only a foul or only a yellow card, the Committee will not in general issue a suspension, unless:
- The play in question is, in the unanimous opinion of the Committee from all the video evidence, a clear and unequivocal red card; and
- The play in question is of an egregious or reckless nature, such that the Committee must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game.
- In determining whether a play is egregious or reckless, all factors are taken into account, including the fact of injury to any player. Where there is no injury, the Committee will not act except in extraordinary or exceptional circumstances.
This year MLS added a couple more things:
When a player routinely and regularly commits dangerous offences. When a player routinely and regularly commits dangerous offences, the Committee will:
- Inform both the player's Club and the MLS Players Union that his behavior is being monitored.
- Consider supplemental discipline if disregard for player safety persists.
- Institute a "Probationary" period.A player can be cleared of the period with good behavior; consistent with current good behavior incentive system for yellow cards.
In obvious examples of simulation/embellishment.
- Disciplinary Committee must be unanimous in its view of the incident.