FIFA’s leading medical official says some challenges in football are “really criminal” and that there are some players deliberately trying to injure their fellow professionals.
The issue of reckless tackling is currently in England after a weekend in which Karl Henry was dismissed for a wild tackle on Jordi Gomez and Newcastle’s unsuccessful request that the FA punish Nigel de Jong for a challenge that broke Hatem Ben Arfa’s leg.
Michel d’Hooghe, who chairs FIFA’s medical committee, spoke on the same day that Fulham captain Danny Murphy accused certain Premier League managers encouraging their players to be aggressive.
Murphy said he did not believe his fellow players deliberately set out to hurt opponents, and that dangerous tackles came from players with “no brains”, but d’Hooge feels there is intent in certain cases.
“Some players come on the field simply to provoke injuries in other persons – to break a career,” he told BBC Sport. “I have two eyes, I can see what happens – how some acts are really criminal.”
FIFPro, the global union of players, responded to d’Hooghe’s comments and defended their members.
“I don’t believe there is a player in the world – and we have 50,000 members – who would deliberately try to injure someone else,” Then van Seggelen, FIFPro’s general secretary, said. “That would not be acceptable.”