Referees under fire again after red-card record

The former top referee Jeff Winter hopes the weekend's record number of red cards in the Premier League will not be repeated. The red mist descended on the top flight this weekend, with eight players sent off on Saturday and Birmingham's Barry Ferguson dismissed on Sunday.

The total of nine was the highest for a decade but Winter hopes lessons will be learned by both referees and players. "Referees don't want to be sending players off and certainly games can be spoilt if we get red card after red card," said Winter. "But hopefully this weekend was a one-off. Referees may learn from it, hopefully players will learn from it and it won't be repeated."

Consistency among referees remains a concern, with two incidents involving Jamie Carragher a prime example of different interpretations of the same offence. Carragher pulled down Manchester United's Michael Owen nine days ago but only received a yellow card from referee Andre Marriner, who decided Owen was running away from goal.

But referee Lee Mason did show Carragher a red card against Fulham on Saturday when he was adjudged to have pulled back Bobby Zamora in similar fashion. "The problem is some managers are incorrectly interpreting the law that the referees are supposed to adhere to," added Winter on Sky Sports News.

"Denial of a goalscoring opportunity has got to be an obvious goalscoring opportunity. The player has got to be running towards his opponents' goal. The one with Michael Owen is one where I can see why the referee didn't send him off. It is very hard to justify to fans who say there is no consistency but when he [Carragher] got sent off this week and was saying he got the ball, to me he also had a little pull on the opponent's shirt. That player was clean through on goal, in possession, and running towards the goal.

"That is the problem with football, if everything was black and white it would be very easy to be a referee. There are a lot of grey areas and those two instances are ones that many fans and players will say were much the same. The laws of the game suggest they are not. We have got to have consistency. We have got to have a law that everyone understands, but most of all we have got to have understanding from the authorities that it is difficult for a referee out there. In a split second he gives what he sees. There is enough pressure on him without him thinking that if he doesn't send him off, he will be marked down."

Two other games also featured a pair of dismissals. Everton's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Carlos Cuellar of Aston Villa received their marching orders within minutes of each other, with Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones and West Ham's Radoslav Kovac dismissed at the Stadium of Light. Geovanni's red card added to Hull's woes at Burnley but Jlloyd Samuel can have no complaints about his dismissal for tripping Chelsea's Didier Drogba.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there