Vicarious Liability in the workplace
The world has it’s eyes on the football world cup and in the main it has been quite a spectacle. The lesser known teams are giving the more prominent teams a run for their money, the host country is having to deal with protests at the greed that such a spectacle produces as is inevitable when the common man does not benefit. Some of the ‘over paid’ players are up to the usual antics of throwing themselves to the ground in order to get an unfair advantage.
There has been very recently a much talked about incident involving a high profile player effectively ‘assaulting’ another player in the course of a televised game. The world of professional sport is not immune to the workings of the law and therefore essentially whatever action a player takes on the field of play could be subject to proceedings being brought. In the world of football such incidents have occurred whereby ‘off the ball’ violence has resulted in the offender being charged and convicted (Duncan Ferguson). A most recent case involved a manager at an English premier club although no criminal proceedings were brought.
The question really is this; has the conduct of professional footballers in these circumstances been tolerated for too long in the interests of, as the assaulted player very elegantly put it ‘ FIFA wants it’s stars on the world stage’? There is a compelling argument to say that the world of professional football has a lot to do to convince the public that it can properly run an organisation that allows a player to continue as an employee of that countries football association and to still be ‘assaulting’ fellow employees. In any other workplace there is most likely to be instant dismissal and/or criminal charges.
There is often much talk about swearing by professional players at the officials who try and run the actual game on the pitch. Maybe they should start with that and show that such behavior will not be tolerated. It is a little known fact that the FA some years ago requested the assistance of the RFU for help with referees. The RFU gently pointed out to the FA that most of the games would be over in a short space of time due to most of the players being sent off for dissent. Yet rugby is supposed to be the violent game…………….