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Is Sir Alex Ferguson correct or paranoid?

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly reacted angrily to the news that John Terry’s red card has been rescinded. Fergie’s tantrum – which measured ‘aubergine’ on the purple face-ometer – is because he has heard rumours that referee Mark Halsey wanted to stand by his decision.

The tale Fergie relates is that referee boss Keith Hackett stepped in to force Halsey to rescind the red card and demoted the official to League Two duties this week when he refused to do so. Halsey’s argument was that the red card was not for a professional foul, but purely based on the cynical nature of Terry’s block on Manchester City forward Jo. He added: “I just don’t understand how this could have happened. If it had been a Manchester United player, Hackett would never have done this for us.”

Luis Felipe Scolari has said he is surprised by the decision to reverse the sending off, but only because he did not expect it and not because he agreed with the original red card. I fall down on the side of Chelsea and Hackett on this (there must be a first time for everything). As far as I am aware, being cynical is not a red card offence unless you are the last defender. Terry was not violent (told you, first time for everything), he just stopped Jo. The nature of the foul was that it was carried out for professional reasons, but according to the laws at present it did not constitute a professional foul. The foul merited a yellow card because it was in the same ‘foul genre’ as shirt-pulling.

Perhaps FIFA needs to alter the laws on the professional foul if they do want to incorporate incidents such as the Terry foul. There is no doubting that it spoilt the football and prevented Manchester City continuing a very promising attack. Having said that, if a new ‘cynical foul’ red card offence was introduced, I am not sure I could cope with the increase in off-the-ball dives, and neither could the referees!

Is Fergie right? Are the authorities favouring Chelsea, or is he just being paranoid?

Comments (8)

  1. Okay even if i were a United fan, i have by no means always believe ‘our’ club boss.

    C’mon like i said before, Carvalho was covering more ground for Terry then the amount Ferdinand was behind Vidic, and even then, Vidic just got a yellow while Terry got a straight red.

    If i were the FA panel, i will just reduce it to a yellow(if it is possible) because it is denies a reasonable amount of scoring opportunity from Jo, especially when City is chasing a game at home, in front of their new owners.

    For wanting Hasley to refree in League 2 this weekend, that i am not too clear about, but yes even if i were a Red Devil fan i will think he is paranoid.

    PS: Vidic already got away with the tackle on Keane with a yellow when some Red fans thought it should be another colour.

  2. Very true, Manager. If they upgraded Vidic’s first offence to a red card then he would really have something to moan about!

  3. I think the fuss was about the fact that FA rules don’t allow for a Red card to be downgraded to a Yellow, so in effect Chelsea should have had to prove that Terry’s foul didn’t warrent a card at all, in order for it to be rescinded.

  4. As a Chelsea supporter, I believe that Terry inded foulsed Jo. And, based ont he foul he committed, I believe that Terry should have earned yellow for the incident, given that he purposefully obstructed Jo on the attack.

    However, the foul merited nothing near the red card booking, and since the rules do not allow for bookings to be downgraded, only rescinded, I am happy that the FA decided to eliminate the booking entirely rather than allow the red card to stand unjustly. Hopefully, in the offseason, the rules can be adjusted to accomodate situations such as these.

    End result? Terry plays because while he probably deserved yellow, he didn’t deserve red, and for once the FA came to their senses.

  5. I too think that Terry’s red card was too harsh, and I think that that’s not the issue here, the real problem is that FA’s all over the world always stand right next to their ref, no matter how stupid he is. And now Fergie complains, not because the decision was wrong, but because they never go against their ref, for no club, no matter how right the club is, but suddenly they did it for Chelsea and just before a big game. I don’t think it was the wrong decision, but you’ve gotta admit that it sound weird. I only hope that FA’s start using this reviewing policy a lot more, and in the right ways.

  6. SAF is playing his usual tricks before a big game, as simple as that, making noise about Refs now may apply pressure on the ref during the game with CFC … that is just his nature … FA should smak him some for this one …

  7. How much did Keith Hackett get from Roman

  8. Agree with Joe, and it’s not just Sir Alex who does it, loads of managers do! Mourinho did it all the time! (it’s a breath of fresh air that Scolari doesn’t)

    Yes it should have been a yellow card, and yes it’s not possible for it to be downgraded (which SHOULD be in the FA’s rules IMO), but he didn’t deserve a red and it’s that mistake that allowed Terry to get away without any card at all. If the ref had got it right in the first place, then we wouldn’t have had such a fiasco and that’s why it’s fair game that he got away without a card at all.

    Plus the ref was awful for the whole game, to both sides, and that decision was a culmination of about 10 other rediculous ones. If the board hadn’t stepped in then I think Hasley would have got even more stick about his overall performance. Plus, by admitting referees sometimes get things wrong would get them more respect from the players; making him less of a dictator and more someone who’s just playing his part in that game of football.