Wednesday, September 17, 2008

John Terry Red Card Rescinded;
Chelsea Captain Available for Manchester United

Sunday's Premier League clash of the titans, the Champions League final rematch, the latest game of the century between Chelsea and Manchester United, was tossed a bit of drama today when John Terry's red card--issued last weekend against Manchester City--was overturned.

Sir Alex Ferguson is raging today, hours ahead of United's Champions League opener against Villareal. The target of his ire is Keith Hackett, general manager of the Professional Game Match officials board. Hackett overruled referee Mark Halsey's decision to toss Terry. Halsey, apparently has been demoted to the second division this weekend. Ferguson was quoted in several English papers today:
"If it had been Manchester United, Hackett would not have done this. In future, if referees are seen to make mistakes then this (demotion) is going to have to happen all the time."
This is dangerous precedent on the FA's part, but in this case, Hackett is correcting an injustice. Terry deserved a yellow at best, and not the red and corresponding three-game suspension that would have started this weekend against United.

Chelsea manager Luiz Filipe Scolari meanwhile says he's surprised--pleasantly for sure. He told the Guardian:
"That would only happen in England. Anywhere else the referee is a god and it's finished. It's a surprise, but a positive surprise. The Football Association have their men who understand that the referee is not god. They make mistakes sometimes, like I do and the players do."
The Offside has a poll up on the decision; and says he's on the fence on the decision.
BleacherReport is shocked, but thinks the right call was made.
Soccernews brings some perspective to the discussion.
World Soccer Guru says Terry is a cheater.

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