The ban has been revoked by the FIGC. Phew. Yet, this whole thing proves how ridiculous Calcio can be. What a waste of resources and time. Anyways, here is their statement regarding the appeal:
In all cases of simulation conduct, the referee sees the act but may not perceive the simulation. Therefore, in theory, the medium of television evidence is always admissible if the referee has seen an act but did not perceive there to be simulation. However, the federal law in question claims that the simulation in question has the notion of evidence in the sense that the simulation conduct by the player was not, in any way, determined by the conduct of their opponent. In this case, however, it cannot be excluded that the fall in Strootman’s landing affected Cataldi grabbing the former’s shirt.
Yadda, yadda, yaddda. What matters most is that we have Strootman back for these crucial matches. Now on to Milan!
While we all come down from our post-derby jubilation, one Roma player may have an extended hangover. Kevin Strootman, derby hero and our own red and yellow washing machine, received a two-match ban today for his sideline shenanigans during the 2-0 win against Lazio. Specifically, his ban is for “obvious simulation” according to the Serie A disciplinary commission. This means, barring a successful appeal, that the Dutchman will miss matches against Milan and Juventus.
For those of you who live under planetary-sized rock, the aforementioned incident occurred after Strootman spurted (phrasing?) water on bench-warmer (or goat warmer), Danilo Cataldi. This is what followed:
No doubt, Strootman is guilty of simulation here. He knew exactly what he was doing. The question should be is it really enough to warrant a two-match ban? If anything the provocation should be the act that deserves discipline. We see much more theatrical simulations on the pitch every Sunday. Just look look at Juan Cuadrado—that guy deserves an Oscar, or at least an Emmy. Did you ever see him in Feather? Or perhaps his greatest role, Me Run Fast and Fall When Touched? I digress. Anyways, it is likely players are told to go down after any contact, especially if it is by an opponent’s hand. You see it all the time. This is what Baldissoni had to say about it:
Eh, I don’t know Mauro. Kind of stretch. Kevin is a big, tough dude, I doubt that if he was on the street he’d go down like that. It just goes to show that no act goes unpunished in this league nowadays. Many appeal for technology in sports, but this is the type of outcome you get. Surely, Strootman will have time to mull over his immature actions if this ban holds. Let’s pray to Totti it doesn’t.
With a team that is already lacking depth in midfield, Spalletti has quite the dilemma on his hands. Paredes is nursing his ankle. Florenzi’s knee is regenerating, not like he ever had a chance to play in the midfield anyway. Fazio can play midfield, but Spalletti doesn’t seem to think so. Which leaves... wait who else do we even have? Man, shipping off Vainqueur was a dumb idea, could have used him about now. All conventional thinking points to Gerson finally getting minutes. Just think of it: a 4-2-3-1 with Radja relegated to a more defensive position alongside DDR, pushing Gerson up as an attacking midfielder. Makes sense, right? Wrong. Spalletti is a tactical gen... maybe not genius, but he is damn good at shifting this team around, so don’t be surprised if he pulls a fast one on us. Oh how far away the 4-3-3 Garcia era seems...
So hold onto your pants, fellas. If this ban is upheld our already shaky midfield is going off the richter scale...