Rules for some…..

This time at least we can’t blame the referee.

There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that referee Mark Halsey got it 100% spot on when he showed a straight red card to Chelsea’s John Terry last weekend. No it wasn’t a professional foul in the strictest sense of the word. As Manchester City striker, Jo, ambled past the lumbering Chelsea captain, he would still have faced challenges from Ricardo Carvalho & possibly Jose Bosingwa, before having a clear scoring opportunity. But it was still a professional foul, in that Terry’s foul – Terry’s rugby tackle – was in no way an attempt to play the ball merely an attempt to stop the player progressing any further. It succeeded.

But whether it was a professional foul or not is irrelevant. According to Halsey’s match report, Terry was sent off for “serious foul play” – which clearly it was. How then has the Football Association managed to rescind the red card? Strangely the FA are silent on the issue. Predictably Alex Ferguson is not though. He has claimed that referees chief Keith Hackett told Halsey to overturn the decision.

I can’t say whether Ferguson is correct or not but clearly its strange that the decision has been reversed. Especially when Chelsea are due to play Manchester Utd this weekend.

John Terry, England captain, Chelsea captain, red card overturned – its hard not to be cynical and suggest who you are makes a difference. One wonders if Halsey will be reprimanded for getting such an important decision wrong.

Everton’s manager Davie Moyes was also sent to the stands last weekend. His crime was to react furiously after Everton were denied what appeared a stonewall penalty against Stoke. That the decision was incorrect is beyond dispute – except, obviously, by Alan Wiley the referee. Whether Moyes should have reacted the way he did…a vocal outburst – disgraceful!!!!….is another question. He maintains he used no foul language. I guess we will see when he confronts the FA.

But then, he is Scottish, not English, and his club are not one of the big four – he’s quite obviously then, guilty as charged.


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