London – Chelsea's Fernando Torres should not have escaped punishment for scratching Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen around the face and the FA's disciplinary rules should be tightened up, chairman Greg Dyke said on Wednesday.
The Spanish striker was caught on camera gouging his fingernails into Belgian defender's face and neck during the Premier League match between Spurs and Chelsea at White Hart Lane on September 28 but could not be punished retrospectively as the officials had seen part of the incident.
But Dyke, making the keynote speech at the Leaders in Football business conference at Stamford Bridge said the decision “can't be right” and he would be taking steps to change the rules.
“When the FA's disciplinary department find themselves in a position that they don't have the authority to take action for what was an obvious scratch on the face, that just can't be right,” he said.
“What this means is that despite the rules being changed in the summer to allow action to be taken in incidents not properly seen by the officials, they clearly weren't changed enough.
“When millions of fans watching on television around the world can see an incident like this and the FA does not take action, it is understandably baffling to everyone and has to be addressed.
“As chairman of the FA, I just don't like being in a position where I can't explain why no action has been taken in cases which seem pretty obvious.”
Torres escaped punishment for his facial assault on the Belgian but was given a yellow card for a trip on the defender that preceded the altercation and was later sent off after picking up a second yellow for another challenge on Vertonghen.
Dyke told Reuters later: “Frankly, it makes us look old fashioned and out of touch not to act on this kind of thing, and I want to get it changed as soon as it is possible to do so.”
Torres was handed a one-match ban for his dismissal against Spurs but avoided a lengthier sanction when the FA met to review the incident a few days after the match.
The Spanish international will, however, spend a little longer on the sidelines after picking up an injury in Chelsea's Champions League match at Steaua Bucharest last week. – Reuters