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.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas