English FA introduces retrospective punishment

New rules introduced by the English Football Association leave players more likely to face retrospective punishment.

Players who are involved in acts of violent conduct or off-the-ball incidents can now be punished, even if a match official ruled on the matter.

The Football Regulatory Authority has approved the two new rules to add to those already within the policy.

It comes after Chelsea striker Fernando Torres avoided punishment for scratching Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen earlier this season because the incident was seen by an official.

Wigan's Callum McManaman escaped punishment last campaign despite a knee-high challenge on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara.

FA director of governance Darren Bailey said he was confident match officials would deal with incidents but believes the changes are 'an important step forward.'

"This enables the FA to consider acts of violent conduct, like an elbow or a stamp, which have occurred after a challenge for the ball or coming together of players," Bailey said.

"It is sometimes difficult for officials to see such incidents, as they are often concentrating solely on the challenge for possession of the ball, and we are mindful of this.

"Also, where off-the-ball incidents are concerned, the policy adjustment will allow action to be taken where an act of misconduct could not have been seen by the match officials, even though they may have seen some part of the players coming together.

"This is an important step forward for the game and provides an appropriate level of discretion for the FA to consider action.

"However, we remain of the view that the best outcome for all is that referees are able to make correct judgements on the day to benefit the teams involved."

The changes will be in place in the Premier League, Football League and Football Conference (National Division) from November 22.