English cups · English football · Laws of the game · Media · Playing football · Referees

Another Shocking Sending-Off

Continuing from here, an Ipswich player is sent off in the FA Cup tie against Portsmouth when his tackle barely warranted a yellow card.

Mark Halsey regularly referees Premier League matches. When a supposedly top referee shows such arbitrariness and lack of common sense in his decision making, it makes you wonder how much worse it gets at the lower levels of the game.

Referees appear to be under pressure to make grave decisions even when there is no need to do so, and far too often, such decisions determine the outcome of matches. I have no idea where this “pressure” comes from. Perhaps it is from the football authorities. Perhaps it is the referee’s own sense of self-importance – why should the post-match discussions focus on the managers and players, and not on the referee as well? (I trust no one takes me too seriously here).

Football is becoming less and less about the abilities of the 22 players on the pitch (assuming games finish with 22 players at all).

I will not continue to watch a match in which there is a poor decision which is likely to affect the outcome of the game, such as a controversial sending off or penalty. If more of us did that, the TV companies may have no choice but to put pressure on the football authorities to get their act in order. No amount of complaining by managers, players and fans seems to work.

I will be coming back to this theme frequently this year.

(Article first published on BBC 606)


22 thoughts on “Another Shocking Sending-Off

  1. I cannot agree with previous comments.I think it was a borderline decision blown up out of all proportion (as usual ) by the BBC. There was a lot of nonsense talked about the player only being 18 and inexperienced – what has that got to do with it? The fact is the Ipswich player’s foot was nowhere near the ball and he connected quite forcefully with the Portsmouth player’s ankle.
    It has now become the norm for the BBC – either MOTD or Radio 5 to highlight an “incident” and then for the managers and fans to jump on the bandwagon telling us how bad referees are

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  2. pompey fan in peace i for one think that ipswich had a blinder of a game and should not have gone down to 10 men the ref clearly didn’t have a clue what he was doing he went for the front pocket spoke to the 4th official who clearly has no say in the game normally then went to the back pocket for the red the ref has to be punished.he should have got a yellow at the most. good game though keep up the good work. can we have some of your magic for our home games please.

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  3. I was at the game and was as shocked to see a red card as anyone. The challenge went in, Mendes went to the ground and I started chating to the person next whilst waiting Mendes to get up and the free kick to be taken. The next thing I knew there was a roar from the whole croud along with surprised comments.

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  4. Leicester fan in peace – The decision was a very poor one and the young Ipswich lad should have been given just a yellow. I appreciate that it ruined the game for you (and your unbeaten home record this season) but you still played well after the sending off and if it wasn’t for James in goal you could have easily forced a replay. I share your frustration with refeering decisions, particularly from Premiership referees (but I bet you didn’t complain when Kisnorbo got sent off for Leicester at your place, a far more ludicrous decision than the one in your cup game Saturday!!).

    Good luck for the rest of the season lads, lets all hope the referees get their acts together!!!

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  5. I have myself been a referee and officiated up to Conference league standard and also played at a similar level prior to this. What dissapoints me so much about this decision is what appears “sheer arrogance” of the Referee. All to often when so called “premier ” Referees come to Championship clubs they seem to strut around full of thier own self importance . On this occasion even assuming the foul warranted a send off offence , Mr Halsey “milked” the matter for all it was worth. In general as a Referee you know instantly an offence that warrants a send off and like Alan Willey at Burnley would immediately show a red card to diffuse the situation(I do think that Kyle was unlucky with his decision as the tackle he made his foot ran over the ball and then went up and over the top)By doing this the referee stops immediately any problem. You can also judge from players reactions as to whether the tackle was bad . On this occasion (I was at the game) ,not one Portsmouth player protested and Mr Halsey did not initally even call the Physio on.There was a delay of some 90 seconds before he actually sent the player off.
    It is sad with the money that premier League Professional Referees are now earning (in excess of £100000 per annum) that they cannot learn that even being “professional ” they can still make mistakes . Everyone does but it takes a real professional to admit.

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  6. The referee ruined the game,shouldn’t have needed to take advice from the linesmen. Classic showing of referees not knowing how to deal with a situation properly in what is one of the biggest games of the season, no more premiership referees at Portman Road please, they all want to make a name for themselves, they would have name and number on the back of their shirts if they could!

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  7. I went to the game. I was a fair way from the incident, but pretty much in line in the Britannia Stand. As soon as the challenge was made, my immediate reaction was that he was going to see red, because at the time it looked awful. TV replays have since suggested that the incident wasnt as bad as I had thought, but Mendes did go flying and I can understand why the ref made the decision that he did in the heat of the moment, even if ultimately he got it wrong.

    Decision did spoil a decent game, although I am not convinced that the end result would have been any different. We actually created more with 10 men than we did with 11.

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  8. I sat infront of the executive boxes in the cobbold stand. So I saw the replay of the tackle. At the time I thought he was going to be booked. He definitely went to give him a yellow card, got distracted by a player and additionally received a message in his earpiece. Then he shows the red card.

    After looking at the replay I was even angrier. Like you say, it barely warranted a yellow.


    (First posted on BBC 606)

  9. Followed by a Burnley player sent off against Arsenal.

    Kyle Lafferty’s tackle was more clumsy than malicious. He lost control of the ball and was trying to regain the ball. The foot was raised but without any real force or recklessness, let alone ill-intent. A red card?

    Alan Wiley is just another arbitrary, self-important Premier League referee.

    I have turned the TV off. I would suggest anyone else watching on TV switch it off too.

    (Article first published on BBC 606)

  10. I thought it was harsh to send him off but I can understand why the ref did it.

    What’s more disappointing is the Burnley fans booing Gilberto and shouting ‘cheat’. It was hardly the Brasilian’s fault that Wiley got the red card out – he didn’t make a meal of the challenge and was waving around an imaginary card asking for Wiley to take action either

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  11. Detta, you just wrote exactly what i was going to write!

    But yeh, to me it looked like Gilberto was trying to get out they way. He didn’t dive over and do a few rolls, he is far too professional for that.
    I also don’t think it was a red, definitely a yellow but these tackles are to be expected in such a feisty FA cup tie.

    (First posted on BBC 606)

  12. Poor control or an opponent getting injured are not grounds per se for sending off a player.

    If they were, matches would often end with far less than 22 players on the pitch.

    I have no complaints about Gilberto. There is no doubt that he was hurt.

    My complaint is about the football authorities and referees, who do not seem to know, understand or remember what the laws of the game actually state, and instead work on the basis of various express or implied “directives”, which are in fact inconsistent with the actual laws.

    (First posted on BBC 606)

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