While the walking football rules are still being written by the FA, there is one thing definitely not allowed…fighting.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened during a recent over 50s walking football match, when after only 2 minutes a huge brawl occurred between Canterbury walking football club and Herne Bay walking football club.
walking football ref joins in
It wasn’t just the players that got in on the action either, as some of the spectators claimed afterwards that they witnessed the ref get a few punches in.
This just isn’t on at all. Sure, we can all appreciate how competitive some of these games become, but when you have two walking football teams with players between the ages of 50 and 70 all deciding to have a punch up, and then the referee gets involved as well…I just don’t think stories like this do much for the image of the game.
Sunday football had the same problem, and still does to some extent, with players becoming far too aggressive, and even attacking referees and match officials in some instances.
Fortunately, the FA have done a lot over the last few years to get rid of these people, with harsher penalties for teams that regularly use violence at matches.
Maybe the same needs to be done in walking football? You wouldn’t think so, especially in an over 50 football league, but at the end of the day it might be something the FA need to address in the future either in their new walking football rules or simply by giving harsher penalties for teams that get involved in this type of thing.
No fighting in walking football
In my opinion, if you want to fight then get in a boxing ring or take up MMA…don’t start swinging punches on a football pitch.
Sure, a bit of aggressiveness is needed in a competitive match, and even a bit of pushing when things get heated is fine enough, but when players start punching other players then I don’t think they should be on the pitch.
So how did the brawl start you might be wondering? A spectator who wishes to remain anonymous commented that a crunching tackle by a Canterbury player was all it took for the fighting to begin…and this was after only 2 minutes of the match.
It just goes to show these players, aged between 50 and 70 don’t forget, were up for a fight from the beginning.
The official match report states the animosity between the 2 teams started even earlier (within the first 5 seconds) when there was a shoulder charge.
Against the walking football rules
Of course, the walking football rules as we understand it right now means no tackling and no shoulder charging, so you can definitely understand players getting annoyed when it happens, but to go from that into a full brawl within 2 minutes is just ridiculous and has no place in the game.
It’s not surprising to learn that the game did not continue after the fighting had stopped. Instead, the ref decided the best thing to do was abandon the match.
Good idea. Let’s just hope both of these teams get rid of any players that are just out for a punch up, and if anything like this happens again the FA should step in to take action.