Arsenal dismayed at D'Urso decision

By Bill Pierce
Monday 02 December 2013 02:39
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Patrick Vieira will have to accept that the eighth dismissal of his Arsenal career in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea will not be overturned by the referee Andy D'Urso.

The Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger yesterday sanctioned the issue of a club statement expressing their "frustration and disappointment" at D'Urso's determination to stand by his decision. It reiterated Wenger's view that the official made a mistake.

But the dismissal for two yellow cards means Vieira will serve only a one-match ban – on 21 September at home to Bolton – a match that comes in between Arsenal's opening two Champions' League fixtures against Borussia Dortmund and PSV Eindhoven. Vieira is clear to play in Europe and Wenger might have rested him for the Bolton match.

The new Arsenal captain has started all five of their games this season, but only just passed a fitness test on a calf strain ahead of the visit to Chelsea. He is wanted by France for their friendly international against Cyprus on Saturday and Wenger will not want to risk his captain repeating last season, when he played 70 matches and looked a shadow of his true self in the World Cup.

The Arsenal statement read: "We fully believe that Patrick Vieira's dismissal against Chelsea was harsh and are disappointed to learn that Andy D'Urso will not be reconsidering his decision. Having reviewed both 'yellow card offences' we are convinced that Patrick Vieira should have remained on the field of play.

"We are mindful that referees have a difficult job making decisions in a split-second, but in this instance the referee made a mistake and it is frustrating that the decision will not be reversed."

The Football Association said the sending off would stand, explaining in a statement that the referee: "will not be reconsidering his decision to dismiss Vieira for two cautions". There is no right of appeal in the case of two bookings.

Vieira insisted he did not touch Gianfranco Zola for the first booking after 33 minutes and that Chelsea's Jesper Gronkjaer caught him, rather than the other way around, for the second yellow five minutes into the second half.

The FA has confirmed that Shaun Wright-Phillips will not serve a ban following the Manchester City player's sending-off in Saturday's win over Everton. He was dismissed by referee Barry Knight after conceding a penalty, but Knight's match report states that the offence for which Wright-Phillips was sent off warranted only a caution.

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