Valencia defender David Navarro has been banned from football for seven months after FIFA agreed to UEFA’s recommendation to extend his punishment to all international as well as domestic matches [source – Reuters].
This is a welcome move and as we’ve already discussed, Navarro is lucky that the summer break will be counted in this.
However, what is surprising is that Valencia have not disciplined their player, and continue to play him. Contrast this with Manchester City’s treatment of Ben Thatcher – an on-the-field incident that had some (albeit very little) room for disagreement on intent. Navarro’s case is different, and yet Valencia refuse to sanction him. Instead, they are appealing the decision.
It will be interesting to see how UEFA and Fifa respond to the appeals – I doubt that there will be any latitude accorded to the players or the clubs, seeing as both organisations are trying hard to reduce violence in football.