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Dyke calls for rule change

FA chairman Greg Dyke will push for a change to the rules after the decision not to take action against Fernando Torres.

Last Updated: 09/10/13 at 17:03 Post Comment

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke will push for a change to disciplinary rules after the body's decision not to take action against Chelsea striker Fernando Torres for scratching Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.

Although the FA altered its rules in the summer to make it easier to take retrospective action using video evidence, it was unable to charge Torres as part of the incident had been seen by a match official.

Dyke admitted that the current position "can't be right" and needs further change.

He told the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge: "When millions of fans watching on TV can see an incident like this and the FA does not take action it is understandably baffling to everybody and has to be addressed.

"For the FA's disciplinary department to find itself in a position where it is not able to take action against an obvious scratch just can't be right.

"What this means is, despite the rules being changed in the summer, they clearly weren't changed enough.

"As FA chairman I don't like to be in a position where I cannot explain the rules when action should be taken when something is pretty obvious."

Meanwhile Dyke admitted he could understand why the Premier League turned down a seat on his commission to improve the England team - but that it was not right to have done so.

Dyke hopes the commission, whose members will include Football League chairman Greg Clarke and former England manager Glenn Hoddle, will report back by the spring.

The Premier League - perhaps the organisation best placed to effect change - will co-operate with the commission but turned down an offer from Dyke for its chairman Anthony Fry to take up a seat with the group.

Dyke said: "The Premier League decided they didn't want to be on it. They were very helpful. They said they would help all they can.

"They have got a quite good research base and said we could have access to statistics or figures we want but they didn't want to be on the commission itself. I can understand why. I don't happen to think they are right but I understand why."

Dyke expressed concerns about England's top flight being a "finishing school" for overseas stars and saying 70 per cent of those starting Premier League matches last season were from overseas.

The FA chairman added: "The truth is we have become a finishing school for the rest of the world at the expense of our own players.

"I care passionately about two things. I want England to win and I do believe that English kids should have the best opportunity to play at the highest level.

"If there are barriers to that, either when they are very small because we're not teaching them the right skills, or later because they are getting into an academy system where it is quite difficult to get into the first team, we need to look at what we can do.

"We should sit here and say 'we believe that English kids should have the right, if they have got the talent, to play at the highest level in this country and abroad'."

The Premier League issued a statement last month saying it was committed to engaging with the process. The clubs do not want to have an actual representative on the commission however - a move that will give them some distance from any recommendations.


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