Referee unlikely to help Terry in red card appeal
Monday 15 September 2008
John Terry will appeal his red card against Manchester City but it is understood that referee Mark Halsey is in no mood to change his mind. The official made the decision because of what he perceived as the cynicism of Terry's block on striker Jo rather than the theory that he was punishing the England captain for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.
Since the sending off in the 77th minute of Chelsea's 3-1 victory over City, scorn has been heaped on Halsey's decision because it is clear from replays that Ricardo Carvalho was in a position to make a covering tackle on Jo who was more than 40 metres from goal.
Given that evidence, Halsey would be hard pressed to justify the decision on the basis that Terry had denied Jo what the rules of football describe as "an obvious goalscoring opportunity" – rather it seems that the referee's report will say the decision was based on an act of "serious foul play".
Chelsea had Frank Lampard's red card against West Ham last season rescinded after referee Peter Walton conceded that replays showed Lampard had not pushed Luis Boa Morte in the face. He had been sent off for that reason after one of Walton's assistants told the referee he believed he had seen the incident take place. However, it will be much more difficult for Terry and Chelsea to prove that Halsey made a mistake in what he saw, especially with the referee believed to be sticking to his guns.
The Chelsea manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, denied that his player had demonstrated a lack of respect to Halsey in the aftermath of his decision with Terry in particular slow to leave the field. Under the Football Association's "Respect" campaign, the clubs are bound to ensure their players' behaviour.
"They didn't understand the decision of the referee and it is normal for some players to ask 'What is this? What is that?'" Scolari said. "But with respect for the referee, to not affront the referee and not use bad words. And they [players] respect the decision. Chelsea's players understand the word that they [FA] say to us that we need to follow [and the word] is 'respect'."
If the appeal is unsuccessful then Terry will miss the visit of Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday although United will be without Nemanja Vidic who does not have the option of appealing his two yellow cards against Liverpool. Scolari refused to discuss the matter after the game although he did say that he was still confident of signing an out-of-contract midfielder, thought to be the Brazilian Mineiro, as cover for the injured Michael Essien.
Frank Lampard said that Terry's offence should not have been a red card. "There were two players behind him. He's obviously been sent off for a professional foul. It can't have been just for the block. If you start giving out red cards like that you'll have four or five a game."
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