All Baggies fans will have been relieved when the news emerged yesterday that Jay Rodriguez’s red card had been rescinded. The FA disciplinary panel sat on New Year’s Eve and concluded that Rodriguez did not stamp on Marco Matias.
What puzzles me is why there has been no secondary charge brought against Matias for simulation. In May 2017, the FA introduced the offence of “Successful Deception of a Match Official” which was described as follows:
Where there is clear and overwhelming evidence to suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation, and as a direct result, the offending player’s team has been awarded a penalty and/or an opposing player has been dismissed, The FA will be able to act retrospectively under its Fast Track system.
For me, Matias was guilty of simulation by rolling around on the floor in reaction to the contact with Rodriguez, which deceived the assistant referee (and me, albeit from much further away) and led directly to the red card.
This offence has, I believe, exclusively been used for instances of diving to date, but I think the Rodriguez/Matias incident should also be reviewed using this offence.
While it will not directly affect Albion going forward, this sort of simulation is every bit as damaging to the integrity of the game as diving, and I think this is a perfect opportunity for the FA to act.