Jordan Elsey’s two yellow cards for two elbow-related incidents highlighted a long-standing grey area in football and caused quite a stir, yet it wasn’t the first time an elbow been a bone of contention.

In 1993, the Professional Footballer’s Association sat in a boardroom in Manchester and PFA President Gordon Taylor emerged to give the waiting media a statement. It wasn’t about pay-increases, collective bargaining agreements or more holidays… it was about elbows.

“Peter Beardsley was badly injured and Gary Mabbutt nearly lost an eye. We want the use of the elbow to be condemned and outlawed,” he said.

Now, some 25 years removed, fans can bear witness to the fact the elbow hasn’t been removed from the game. In fact, was a source of contention from the Adelaide United draw against Western Sydney Wanderers and it has split opinion, including that of Wanderers manager Markus Babbel.

“Unlucky for him (Jordan Elsey), in my time it wasn’t a problem but now the rules have changed.

“I think you can’t be disappointed because the referee made the right decision, the rules are like this, I know it is difficult to accept this because it is a tough sport, you can give a yellow card,” he said.

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In 2007, FIFA made it their goal to eradicate the errant elbow from the game, something which had become common practice in the art of the aerial duel. Yet, it created a grey area of old-school thinkers who saw the act as part of the rough and tumble of contact sport and modern-thinkers who see the act as a dangerous impediment to a player’s health.

Barely a week ago, Jordan Elsey was the victim of a stray elbow rather than the aggressor while Vince Lia also fell foul of the same crime. Both went off for treatment, yet nothing eventuated.

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How can the same incident in which players were hurt, produce a different outcome? Marco Kurz seemed similarly baffled.

“I was a little bit surprised about the late decisions, in the moment it was a long-ball, long-term he decided for two yellow cards, for me it was no yellow cards, I thought it was a good duel with the head.

“Ten days ago, we had a home game with two cuts to the head and nothing happened, I don’t know why but maybe we were unlucky today,” he said.

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This isn’t to criticise Peter Green, he applied the same penalty for Oriol Riera later-on in the game for another elbow, so Green was consistent with his application which is all anyone can ask for.

It seems given the commentary on social media and otherwise, there exists a grey area in the rule’s application and outcome which seemingly changes from week to week which is leaving coaches confused.

It is not a good look and has potential to damage players and clubs in more ways than one if players start missing games through suspension while others are allowed to play-on.

Elsey’s red-card resulting from the two yellows has shone the spotlight on one of the A-League’s grey areas.

Now, the league needs to establish a united front on the outcome of an errant elbow, otherwise someone could lose an eye.

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A student at University of South Australia who hopes his writing disguises his lack of sporting prowess and a fan who masquerades his choice in mediocre teams as being hipster