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Fifa official concerned by football 'brutality'


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Fifa's top medical official has said that football at the highest level is being disfigured by "criminality" and "brutality" on the pitch.

Dr Michel d'Hooghe told BBC Sport he is concerned by the number of serious injuries caused by dangerous tackles. "Some players come on the field... simply to provoke injuries in other persons - to break a career," he said. The Belgian added: "I have two eyes, where I can see what happens - how some acts are really criminal."

D'Hooghe is the chairman of Fifa's medical committee and one of the longest-serving members of the executive committee of football's world governing body. He was speaking out following a recent series of serious injuries sustained by players after reckless challenges - but he made it clear he was not referring to any player specifically.

Theo van Seggelen, the general secretary of global players' union FIFPro, has defended his members. "I don't believe there is a player in the world - and we have 50,000 members - who would deliberately try to injure someone else," said Van Seggelen. "That would not be acceptable." D'Hooghe also said that if referees fail to spot bad tackles, then football authorities must be able to punish players retrospectively.

Newcastle United have expressed frustration that the Football Association, under current Fifa rules, cannot discipline Manchester City's Nigel de Jong, because match referee Martin Atkinson did not award a free-kick for his recent tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa. The challenge resulted in the Newcastle United player sustaining a broken leg.

D'Hooghe said if there is clear video evidence, an FA should still act, adding: "It's not because it's not been seen on the field that suddenly nothing happened." Fifa has proved itself enormously resistant to the use of video technology to aid referees, but D'Hooghe insisted this could be less controversial than goal-line aids. He says he intends to raise the issue at Fifa's next executive committee meeting in three weeks.

Source: BBC News

Thoughts and opinions? Personally I don't think the game is any more or less violent than it used to be.

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well yeah when you got de jong taking out players like he's a hockey goon something should be done...

I do agree with that. Joey Barton is also somewhat of a violent headcase.

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Joey isn't particular bad on the field, he's just a tool in his private life.

The tackle he committed on Steven Gerrard in 2009 was absolutely horrible, and it's not the first time he's done that on the field either.

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Thoughts and opinions? Personally I don't think the game is any more or less violent than it used to be.

I'm with you I don't think it's changed. There are a few thugs in the game like Cattermole and Henry but there always have been these types of players in the game.

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The tackle he committed on Steven Gerrard in 2009 was absolutely horrible, and it's not the first time he's done that on the field either.

Every player is prone to the occasional late tackle, Joey is no exception. But to put him in the same bracket as De Jong is unfair.

De Jong, Van Bommel, Cattermole and Karl Henry are probably the main culprits.

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de Jong and other players like him need to be tried and banned from football played, if violent players will know that video evidence can be used against them, they will have second thoughts on commiting rough tackles.

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maybe if it there was a proper punishment for career threatning tackles then players would think again before making brutal fouls, right now all a player will get is a red card which is nothing compared to the injured player that's facing 9 months out before he can play again.

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Every player is prone to the occasional late tackle, Joey is no exception. But to put him in the same bracket as De Jong is unfair.

De Jong, Van Bommel, Cattermole and Karl Henry are probably the main culprits.

It wasn't just a late tackle. Even the Newcastle manager had to apologise for it after the game

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It wasn't just a late tackle. Even the Newcastle manager had to apologise for it after the game

Again, just the one incident. De Jong has had 3 horrendous tackles in the past 6 months, 2 of which have resulted in serious injuries.

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Again, just the one incident. De Jong has had 3 horrendous tackles in the past 6 months, 2 of which have resulted in serious injuries.

I'm not disputing that, he should have his arse handed to him on a plate as well. Just pointing out that they should be consistent about it.

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