Sports Letters: Replay weakens referee's rule

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The Independent Online
Sir: With good common sense, Arsene Wenger called for the Arsenal versus Sheffield Utd FA Cup tie to be replayed. The argument was based on the unwritten rule of ungentlemanly conduct, which by definition, has no definition.

But what of an earlier tie, between Oxford and Chelsea? Vialli dived his way to a stoppage-time penalty, thereby rescuing his team from defeat. Does this not also constitute ungentlemanly conduct?

It seems that the Football Association has set a precedent. Any team suffering from a controversial decision will justifiably point to this game and ask for a replay. We are then at the mercy of the after-game honesty of managers and players. And where does this leave the referee?


St Catherine's College