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FINLAND - WE ARE A GENUINE FOOTBALL SOCIETY? (PART THREE)


This summer Finland's beloved Eagles Owls will take part in a historic first-ever European Championships. Our football-loving country is living through wonderful moments in the long history of this sport.


However, unfortunately the pandemic has highlighted grievances from leading figures in Finnish football. When things are going well, one must not become content, but should strive to continue the development despite experiencing a positive period.


Because if the development stops then the success ends. Recently, there has been irresponsibility and a lack of work for the common good of Finnish football. In the third and final part of this three-part series we will explain why.


Disciplinary Action and Legal Protection


The Football Association has rules regarding expulsions and offences and in controversial situations the association is represented by a Disciplinary Committee. Their job is to deal with violations that take place on the pitch.


There is a well-known ‘loophole’ in the rules of the union, where when re-examining the expulsion, the disciplinary committee discusses the situation and asks both the referee and the clubs for their own views on the case.


In this ‘loophole’, the referee has full decision-making power and the last word. In other words, even if the disciplinary committee is able to prove the referee’s decision to be incorrect, the arbitrary may, if her or she wishes to, walk over the committee and decide otherwise.


The members of the Disciplinary Committee are well aware of this grievance, but they have still done nothing to change it for years. The task of the Football Association is to manage and develop the game of football in Finland. Do you think the concealment of such grievances is good governance?


Referees, like coaches and players, should be on an equal footing and not decide on such matters or matters that are in the interests of referees. In ice hockey, the Discipline Committee of Liiga gets a lot of criticism for their decisions but they make brave decisions where someone always takes responsibility and legal protection is promoted.


Why don’t we want to address the grievances in the rules and the big mistakes in decision-making? We are well aware of the issues at hand and they are admitted unofficially, but we are still unwilling to make changes.


One decision that adversely affects legal protection can have immeasurable and detrimental consequences. It is a matter of legal protection for football professionals and therefore these changes should be made immediately without the fear of extra work or sweat.


Futsal and Equality


The distribution of money by the Registered Associations of the Futsal Liiga clubs is full of grievances. Women’s and men’s futsal received grant money from the Football Association due to the prevailing situation caused by the pandemic. The wise guys leading Finnish futsal decided that the men would receive more support money than the women.


How is it possible that Futsal Liiga clubs will be able to propose such an idea in Finland in 2021? What is the role of the Football Association in this matter? Should clubs perhaps be monitored more closely?


Here is a case of some guys distributing money unevenly without considering equality. Who controls impartiality and who is overseeing the equal and justified distribution of money?


The total amount received by the women’s Futsal Liiga was roughly 3.2% of the organisation costs and 9.4% of the lost revenue while the financial support received by the men’s Futsal Liiga was 6.3% or the organisation costs and 13% of the lost revenue.


Equality and non-discrimination are talked about and related issues are said to be constantly monitored. However, the distribution of money is still something completely different in our football society today.


It is clear that if the distribution of money is decided by the representatives of the clubs, there is a high risk that the criteria for distribution and the realisation of equality will be jeopardised if the activities are not supervised.


There are impartial bodies everywhere, but is this a case of equality issues only being worthy topics of discussion when actual decisions are made?


Football belongs to everyone and it is our pride and joy, so let’s do what is best for the game together. Only this way can Finland one day become a genuine football society.


- M. Lönnström

- J. Niemelä

- J. Raitanen

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