When Charlie Austin made his post-match comments following Southampton’s draw with Watford at the weekend, many Leeds fans had plenty to say about the remarkable rant.
Austin was furious with the officials. They had disallowed a perfectly good goal at 1-0. The Saints were then punished as Watford equalised.
Mark Hughes’ men desperately needed a win. So Austin’s reaction was understandable. And it was good to see the FA decide not to charge the Saints striker.
But Leeds have every right to be furious with the governing body’s call.
It was just over a month ago that Pontus Jansson made some similarly-brutal comments about the referee’s performance after Leeds’ 1-1 draw with Brentford.
On that day, the official made some seriously questionable decisions.
Jansson could not hold back his feelings at full-time. The Swede initially swore when asked to describe his feelings about the result and then accused the referee of robbery.
Where’s the consistency?
The FA’s subsequent actions infuriated Leeds supporters. Jansson was handed a fine and one-match ban, while Sergi Canos was let off after headbutting Gjanni Alioski.
Jansson’s ban was incredibly difficult to understand at the time. Now it is impossible.
Unlike Austin, Jansson swore in his interview. But he is certainly not the first player to use a word that the broadcaster has to immediately apologise for.
How many of those players received a subsequent ban?
If anything, Jansson deserves greater leeway as his post-match interview came within seconds of the full-time whistle blowing. Luke Ayling had also only just been sent off in controversial circumstances.
Austin’s outburst was understandable, and not giving the striker a ban was the right decision. But after seeing Jansson suspended for one game, Leeds have every right to ask what was so different between the two incidents.