Ferguson claims pro-Chelsea bias after Terry wins red card appeal

Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday accused the Premier League's head of referees Keith Hackett of favouring Chelsea after John Terry's red card was controversially rescinded to make the defender eligible for the league match against Manchester United on Sunday. Mark Halsey, the referee who awarded the card, has been banished to League Two as punishment.

Ferguson has a history of enmity with Hackett and accused him of pressurising Halsey into the decision – eventually the red card was overturned by a Football Association independent commission. "My information is that Hackett told Mark Halsey to rescind the red card and he would not do it," said Ferguson. "Now I understand that Halsey is being made to referee in League Two this weekend. 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."

As Ferguson set the stage for his first public clash with Scolari, the Chelsea manager, whose side beat Bordeaux 4-0 in the Champions League last night, said that he was "surprised, but satisfied" that in England the referee was not treated like "God". Although it had to be explained to Scolari that it was an FA commission who had overturned the decision rather than Halsey himself, he, unsurprisingly, welcomed the decision.

"It's the first time that, as a coach, I have experienced a changed of resolution from the referee," he said. "That would only happen in England. Anywhere else, it's finished. But the referee saw the video and admitted he'd made a mistake. It's a surprise, but a positive surprise. It's positive for football. The Football Association have their men who understand that the referee is not God. They make mistakes sometimes, like I do, like you do and the players. It's important to say this."

Halsey now has the ignominy of refereeing Chester City against Shrewsbury Town on Sunday.

It is the second time in seven months that Chelsea, who are serial appealers in the disciplinary process, have successfully had a red card rescinded. Last season the FA received nine appeals from clubs against red cards in the Premier League: of those nine, four came from Chelsea.

Frank Lampard's red card against West Ham in March was successfully overturned although the other three were rejected. Lee Bowyer was the only other player to have a red card – against Birmingham City in February – rescinded.

The red card for Terry against Manchester City had been widely criticised but it is still relatively rare for the FA to overturn an official's decision – across the four divisions fewer than a third of red cards are rescinded.

Halsey had claimed in his match report that Terry was guilty of "serious foul play" – one of the seven triggers for a red card enshrined in the laws – but the independent commission decided that his rugby tackle-style block on City striker Jo did not constitute that offence. The initial reaction was that Halsey had given the red card because he believed Terry had "denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity" but it emerged on Sunday that it was "serious foul play" that the official would give as his reasoning for the decision.

When reviewing the tapes the independent commission decided that the normal criterion for that decision – a tackle likely to injure an opponent seriously – had not been met.

The FA will not name the individuals on the independent commission who are appointed by the governing body but whose function is to operate as an impartial jury. They did not hear submissions from either Chelsea or the FA on Terry's conduct, they read Halsey's report and decided whether the decision was correct on the basis of replays of the incident that took place at the City of Manchester stadium on Saturday.

Chelsea's record in appealing against red cards is more prolific than any other club in the Premier League. Last season they appealed against red cards

for John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien, Ashley Cole and Lampard. On top of that they also appealed a red card given to Wayne Bridge in a reserve game against Fulham last October. All but the Lampard dismissal were upheld by the FA. There were only five other appeals in the whole league, plus one from Tottenham for a red card to Didier Zokora in the Carling Cup.

Playing the percentages is clearly working for Chelsea and the decision to overturn Terry's ban will be difficult for Ferguson to accept given that Nemanja Vidic's dismissal against Liverpool for two yellows was debatable at best. Only straight red cards can be appealed. The decision by the FA suggested that the spectre of games being re-refereed by video replay is a reality now.

Chelsea have spent more time in front of the FA's disciplinary authorities than any other club over the past 12 months, although it has occasionally proved profitable. Last season they were also hit with two charges of failing to control their players – against Derby County and Manchester United – and were fined a total of £70,000. In addition, their former assistant manager Steve Clarke was also fined £5,000 for his behaviour during the United game in September.

Red List: Dismissals appealed last season

Frank Lampard, Chelsea v West Ham United; PL, 1 March 2008. Violent conduct Result: Appeal upheld.

Jérémie Aliadière, Middlesbrough v Liverpool; PL, 23 February 2008. Violent conduct. Result: Appeal rejected.

Lee Bowyer, West Ham v Birmingham City; PL, 9 February 2008. Serious foul play. Result: Appeal upheld.

Zat Knight, Aston Villa v Chelsea; PL, 26 December 2007. Denial of goal scoring opportunity Result: Appeal rejected.

Ashley Cole, Chelsea v Aston Villa; PL, 26 December 2007. Denial of goalscoring opportunity Result: Appeal rejected.

Didier Zokora, Tottenham v Manchester City; Carling Cup, 18 December 2007. Serious foul play. Result: Appeal rejected.

Robbie Keane, Tottenham v Birmingham City; PL, 2 December 2007. Serious foul play. Result: Appeal rejected.

Michael Essien, Chelsea v Derby County; PL, 24 November 2007. Violent conduct. Result: Appeal rejected.

Wayne Bridge, Chelsea v Fulham Reserves; 2 October 2007. Serious foul play. Result: Appeal rejected.

John Obi Mikel, Chelsea v Manchester United; PL, 23 September 2007. Serious foul play Result: Appeal rejected.

Craig Fagan, Derby v Liverpool, PL, 1 September 2007 Violent conduct Result: Appeal upheld.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Fair trade: the idea of honesty boxes relies on people paying their way
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary