The English FA closed a loophole in its rulebook on Friday allowing it to sanction players who were escaping punishment for a serious offence during a match which may have been partly, but not fully seen by match officials. From the start of the new season, the FA has the right to take retrospective action and impose a punishment when match officials have not been in a position to fully assess a 'coming together' of players. The amendment follows a knee-high tackle last season by Wigan's Callum McManaman on Newcastle United's Massadio Haidara in which the referee's view of the incident was blocked whilst the other match officials were not in a position to judge exactly what had occurred. However, because one of the officials said on that occasion they had seen the incident, but not fully realised exactly what happened, the FA could not act and McManaman escaped punishment. In a statement on its website, the FA said: "Prior to this change, which was ratified by The Football
Regulatory Authority, The FA was only able to take retrospective action when none of the match officials had seen the "coming together" or when the incident was truly exceptional." The FA was quick to point out the change is not intended to usurp the authority of the match officials, adding: "It will only be utilised in the rare circumstances outlined above."