Football in Great Britain has been central to a number of controversies in recent weeks because of decisions taken by the Football Association and the Scottish Football Association based on and supported by television evidence.

The Luis Suarez case, when the Liverpool midfielder was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United captain Patrice Evra and banned for eight matches has possibly been the most high profile case but there have been others which have been questionable to say the least.

In Scotland there was the case of Sone Aluko of Rangers who was banned for two matches for simulation – or diving. Had the referee recognised the offence he would have received a caution with no match ban. This is inconsistent.

Recent incidents in England involving high profile players such as Mario Balotelli and Joleon Lescott in the match between Manchester City and Spurs have highlighted major inconsistencies and matters of concern.

Firstly the media are now setting the agenda for punishments, having had the luxury to review incidents over and over again and then to demand action from the authorities.

The authorities have over-reacted by issuing punishments which far exceed what would have been given had the referee seen the incident in the first place.

This in turn totally undermines the authority of the match referee.

Perhaps the review panels should be more prepared to issue additional points to the players’ disciplinary record for ’unprofessional conduct’ or for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ – importantly neither is an offence in the Laws of the Game.

This would recognise the need for punishment but avoid an automatic suspension which might often appear excessive.

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