Everton appeal but face FA scrutiny of missiles incident


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The Independent Football

Jack Rodwell's red card in the Merseyside derby is likely to be rescinded by the Football Association, after Everton appeal against referee Martin Atkinson's decision today.

Though an infuriated Everton manager David Moyes, whose comments about Atkinson have not gone down well with the FA, said after the 2-0 Goodison Park defeat that the red card would not be appealed, the club's chief executive Robert Elstone has now indicated that it will.

Everton must construct a case, when they submit their appeal today, that they were the victims of a "serious and obvious" error when Atkinson adjudged Rodwell's tackle on Luis Suarez to be a dangerous one. Though the bar is set high for the rescinding of red cards, the three-man FA appeals panel is likely to consider Everton's case worth serious consideration when it sits on tomorrow.

Moyes is likely to escape any penalty for his comments about Atkinson after the game, which included a barbed attack on the official's selection for the match – 12 months after he was fined for confronting Atkinson after the 3-3 draw with Manchester United at Goodison.

The FA has taken a dim view of Moyes' comments, though since they are not personal, nor offer any suggestion of bias on the west Yorkshireman's part, he is unlikely to be subjected to any disciplinary proceedings.

However, the FA will await Atkinson's report before deciding how to act on the missiles which were thrown by Everton fans at Kenny Dalglish's players, which included coins and bottles.

The FA may ask for a review of security procedures at Goodison, where a cigarette lighter was thrown at Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in an FA Cup tie in 2005.

Operational advice may, alternatively, be given, though there is an acceptance that there are limits to a club's ability to prevent objects being thrown from the stands.