Sports letter: Batty behaviour

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The Independent Online
Sir,

I have no sympathy with Paolo Di Canio's performance in pushing a referee. Anyone monitoring his temperament when he played for Celtic could have predicted that this would happen some day. But now that it has, I hope the hysteria regarding his possible punishment is put in perspective. Some hysterical observers have even called for a six-month ban or worse.

Last season David Batty pushed a referee and received a six-match ban. The only difference now is that Mr Alcock lost his balance when Di Canio pushed him, and fell over. That should make no difference to his sentence which, in the interests of justice, should be similar to Batty's. If the powers-that-be decree a much more severe punishment, they must then review the Batty incident.

RAY SHAW

Perry Barr,

Birmingham

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