The Laws of the Game state that decisions are given ‘in the opinion of the referee’ but things have changed recently.

In Scotland, for exanple, the Scottish FA has appointed a new Compliance Officer who can look at controversial incidents over any weekend on Monday morning and decide if some players should be punished retrospectively.

An appeal by a club against a decision can be referred to a tribunal.

There is some merit in this system but it is in its infancy and already some controversial have emerged.

Rangers forward Sone Aluko, for example, was banned for two matches for diving in the penalty area and winning a match winning penalty kick against Dunfermline recently.

Had the referee recognised the dive he would have been cautioned and that would have been the end of the story.

A week later another player was seen on television to punch an opponent in the stomach and he also received a two match ban.

These offences are very different and should be punished differently.

I believe the principle of post match review of incidents has value but only if the Review Panel shows consistency in its punishments.

Obviously the system must still be regarded as ‘work in progress – could do better’!

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