Is This The Death Of Tackling In Football?
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Jamie Vardy’s dismissal on Saturday for his lunge on Mame Biram Diouf was predicated on everything but the tackle itself. Having lost the ball to Glen Johnson in the buildup, that particular spirit that invokes images of Skittles Vodka and murmurs of “Chat Shit Get Banged” could be felt through televisions around the globe: Vardy, looking like Pokemon’s Rattata with Red Bull coursing through his mouse veins, was probably about to do something he’d regret.
It was in the next moment that the clear warning sings came to fruition. There was Vardy, beginning his tackle on Diouf from the other side of the pitch and flying through the air with his legs pulled back at the knees, ready to spring them at Diouf’s helpless appendages like a pair of switchblades.
It looked like Vardy was about to chop him in half with a crunching two-footed tackle. However, what transpired was actually much more elegant than that. Vardy’s full-blooded approach saw him masterfully sweep the ball out of Diouf’s possession, both of his studs harmlessly pointed towards the ground.
I may be biased but a ludicrous red card has been shown to @vardy7— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 17, 2016
Vardy got the ball and then got some of Diouf’s right leg, because it’s a tackle and that’s what happens when you tackle. Diouf screamed and rolled around on the ground, but that’s just because it’s football and that’s what happens in football.
“I didn’t see it. I just saw somebody coming. He touched me but I don’t know, I didn’t see it,” said Diouf after the tackle, clearly not all that bothered by it.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 17, 2016
The tackle earned Vardy a straight red — a contentious decision that many felt Craig Dawson had botched. However, with a three-game suspension looming, Vardy and Leicester City attempted to appeal the decision.
But the FA have upheld the decision, saying: “Jamie Vardy will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after his wrongful dismissal claim was rejected, following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.”
Vardy will now miss matches against Everton, West Ham and Middlesbrough over the Christmas period. With Leicester sitting 15th in the table, this is a huge decision that’s gone against Vardy and the Foxes.
While two-footed tackles have long been cracked down on, the main justification for sending off a player who commits one remains whether or not it was careless, reckless or made with excessive force.
It appears as though tackling with any force whatsoever will now see you banned for three matches.