Rob Styles’ Bosses May Be Having Second Thoughts

The Daily Telegraph is reporting today, that the initial view taken by Rob Styles’ bosses in the sending Habib Beye off, is that the decision may have been wrong.

Rob Styles – second thoughts about penalty incident?

The evidence is that he is only in a fourth official role for the game between Chelsea and Liverpool on Sunday,  and that has raised Newcastle’s hopes of actually prevailing with their appeal over Habib Beye’s sending off.
Styles will return to referee the Championship game between Bristol City and Sheffield United next Tuesday – and has had a sympathetic response from Keith Hackett, the manager of Professional Game Match Officials.

But we believe that is just a good move to withdraw Styles from the spotlight, in the aftermath of the penalty decision and sending off on Monday evening.

However, replays of the incident have seemed to support the Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear’s contention that Beye played the ball first and won it with a faint touch. That is definitely true, and fans need to know what these rules actually are.

It was always thought that if you got the ball first before the man – it wasn’t a foul. But then some referees have come out and said that’s not necessarily true.  So what exactly are the rules?   That’s now a very good question.

Certainly the offside rule is now so stupid as to be absolutely ridiculous.  And it was seen to be stupid on Monday night when a long ball was played forward – Oba Martins was obviously in an offside position when the ball was played – he then moved over to take the ball from the defender, and only then was he blown for offside.

You have players who are obviosuly offside, then walk away from the play, so they are not involved and are therefore not offside, but then they get involved again in the subsequent play – and obviously have gained an advantage.

It’s just ridiculous, and like a spider’s web of confusion.

Yesterday, when Rob was on his way to a meeting with his bosses at the referees’ Staverton training base, Styles seemed very straight and poinyed out:

“I thought it was a penalty. Any reflections will begin when I see it again, and that’s what I told Joe Kinnear.”

To be fair to Styles, people are still arguing about this now, and it’s always difficult to give a split second decision when it’s such a close call, as in this case.

That’s why we think the FA will uphold the decision, but they should take the opportunity of this incident as a precedent, and say why it was a foul. If it isn’t true that if a player plays the ball and then brings down the man with his momentum they, should say that too.

They can build up cases like legal precedents – but something is needed to better understand today’s football rules, that’s for sure. So at least the fans and the players, and not least of all the referees, can get a better handle on the rules in these specific situations.

It’s starting to look like good hard tackling has become a forbidden skill these days.

Especially with footballers going flying at the slightest of physical contacts.

Comments welcome.

52 comments so far

  • rooks

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #1

    It is indeed a spider’s web of confusion. And a wasps nest of bewilderment

  • irish_al

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #2

    there is a difference between winning the ball and touching it

    If you win the ball you have generally taken over possession as if you touch the ball the attacking player would be likely to make the next touch therefore they are still in possession

    my opinion is that it was a foul but should not of been a red card, maybe not even a bookable offence

    Im not sure on the exact rules but i don’t believe being the last man back always means a straight red, after all John Terry had a red card recinded for a complaetly deliberate foul when he held back an oponent (think it was also against Man City?) and penalties can be given without players being sent off

  • martins the king

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #3

    that muppet cost us 3 valuable points he should get suspended

  • Ausgeordie

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #4

    I can understand that from his angle it looked like a penalty. However it wasn’t. So take back the red card. Let Beye play. Refs might not be so quick to award a penalty against us next time around.

  • MattyDread

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #5

    I think it’s understandable that referees make mistakes in a game of football – it’s unavoidable. What is avoidable however is continuing to punish a player after a mistake has been made.

  • xisco biscuits

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #6

    jeff winter was on about it on his official site yesterday and said there’s no way it was a penalty and apparently poll stuck up for styles coz styles is about the only ref who’s still mates with poll!!

    winter said that it CAN be a foul even if a player gets the balls first – but only if he’s used excessive force or made a dangerous or reckless challenge. beye did none of these, and for a smoggie to side with us i think it tells you that beye did nothing wrong at all!!

    come on FA, get something right for once!!

  • Toon Graeme

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #7

    Martins the King – Beye didnt cost us three points – Ireland did.

    If you look at the way we played upto that point – we barely had a touch of the ball. The penalty aint in question its the sending off that we need taken back.

    Its impossible to say that as you cant write a game of football.

    We need Beye on the pitch.

  • Ganiyu

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #8

    Nufc for life

  • MattyDread

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #9

    The penalty was certainly hard to bear but if you think about it, it was bad luck… and let’s face it; both of our goals may have, in part, been due to an ever so slight bit of luck in our favour…

    (I feel I must add at this point that over the 90 mins we deserved the 3 points but, oh well…)

  • xisco biscuits

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #10


    it wasnt just bad luck mate, it was the WRONG decision that can very easily be put right. fair enough we cant do owt about the penalty, but beye should not be banned and surely everyone can see that?!

  • ryan peacock

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #11

    Haringey council has blocked Tottenham’s plans to build a new ground on Northumberland Park. A town hall source said: “We don’t mind having a funfair there once a year, but a circus every fortnight is a bit much.”

  • MattyDread

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #12

    Well yes, xisco biscuits, I can see that; as I wrote in comment #5

  • Ganiyu

    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #13

    Any one know the procedure for installing football manager 08

  • xisco biscuits

    Oct 22, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #14

    yep, just u seem a bit more accepting of a possible ban in your last post…

    surely the fa can sort this one sensibly

  • lesh

    Oct 22, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #15

    According to the Chronicle, they’re sayin that as the club’s having to resort to an appeal, then it looks as though Stiles isn’t likely to change his mind.


  • MattyDread

    Oct 22, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #16

    No, I definitely think the red card should be rescinded. I was referring to the goal we conceded through the wrongly-awarded penalty. That can be considered bad luck as it is something that cannot be changed. The red card however can be changed, and should be.

  • MattyDread

    Oct 22, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #17

    If it goes to appeal will it be sorted out quickly enough for Beye to feature against the mackems?

  • Who is Derek Llambias?

    Oct 22, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #18

    talking nonsense Irish Al. You play the ball before the player, its not a foul. Simple as that, regardless of who has the possession there after.

  • ObaFan2

    Oct 22, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #19

    It was a good challenge, infact an excellent challenge and it should be recognised as such.

    The rules are only an ass when there is inconsistency and there is inconsistency constantly.

    I’d like to see an off side rule similar to rugby where you are ok as long as you don’t touch the ball and as soon as the opposition touch the ball you can play the ball too. I know it’ll never happen but my opinion.

    Also technology SHOULD be used.

  • xisco biscuits

    Oct 22, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #20

    @ derek llambias

    not strictly true mate, see post #6, thats jeff winter’s wording and therefore why graham poll was talking utter bollocks

  • A.L. 9

    Oct 22, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #21

    It is a freekick if the player tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball

    Beye touched the ball before he got the man and therefor was wrongfully sent off, it doesn’t matter how much of the ball he got as the rules dont imply that the ball has to move so many inches or whatever before it is not deemed a foul, it was a hard desicion to make on the spot but I cannot see how he has dared to stick with his desision after suposedly watching the incident again, and I have therfor lost the very little respect I had for Rob Stiles anyway.

  • Bill F

    Oct 22, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #22

    ManU got two dodgy goals last night just to highlight the fact that some teams get the decisions and some don’t. The fact that they deserved to win is irrelevent. The whole match may have been different if they hadn’t got them.
    It’s not just two different leagues (the top four, Hull won’t stay there, and the rest.) It’s two seperate sets of rules seemingly.

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #23

    Total right Bill F,
    can’t see it changin’ anytime soon tho’…Altho’, manc will be one of those teams now they have money…Just like chavs!..

  • Tommie Lewis

    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #24

    I am a referee, and he definatly got it wrong. but you people who are saying it should have been a penalty, but not a red card… are deluded! IF you believe it to be a penalty, it is a sending off offence.
    If the player denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity, which Beye did, IF it was a foul, then he had to go.
    Thats my bit sticking up for the ref… now;
    it WASN’T a foul. He got the ball, before the player. There was no second movement from Beye towards Robinho, so it was not a foul. The card should be resinded. Unfortunaltly, the pentaly can’t be taken back, as I think we deserved 3 points.

    Oh, and as for the John Terry red card against Man City; It was downgraded to a yellow card as the FA didn’t believe he denied an obvious goal scoring challenge. The FA said the incident happened so far back (around the half way line) that the covering defender could have got to the player before an opportunity to shoot occured.

  • Ericles

    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #25

    I thought that these “rules” of football were in fact “laws”. As such they have to be obeyed by players AND referees. As it stands players have to obey the refs decision but all too often the ref is allowed to “interpret”. Does “turning a blind eye” correspond with “interpretation”? I think not.
    Styles got it wrong and the red card must be rescinded. On Monday Styles not only went blind he went deaf too!

  • ScottyT

    Oct 22, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #26

    in the end it is surely clear that it wasnt a penalty which means no red card either. therefore the only fair decision is to rescind the sending off!

    knowing the fa theyll come up with some reason to keep it and he’l be suspended for a gd tackle. it wasnt a foul therefore neither was it a red card now sort it out fa and demote rob styles fgs! he keeps makin these awful decisions week after week man.

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #27

    robinho started to ‘go down’ outside the box, he was waitin’/hopin’ for contact…& the smile/wink while he was on the floor, said it all really…If a player tries to make a challenge ‘look’ like a foul, it should be waved away based on that fact(he was tryin’ to get a pen)
    …No foul, no pen…

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #28

    recind the red card…& if it wasn’t a foul…No yellow either…

  • Graham

    Oct 22, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #29

    It was a terrible decision (but once given he had to send Beye off).

    Forget about demoting him to the championship, he should be hung by his gonads from the Tyne Bridge and pelted with rotten taties!

  • Bill F

    Oct 22, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #30

    Perhaps retrospectively Robinho should get yellow (or even red) carded for diving. That would be fair, wouldn’t it? 😉

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #31

    That’s an excellent idea Bill, maybe that would put some of the divin’ cheats off?..
    …’Cos if you can recind a card retrospectively, what’s wrong with givin’ one retrospectively?..

  • Graham

    Oct 22, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #32

    Bill F – only if he serves his suspension against us later in the season!

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #33

    That’s gonna be immpossible Graeme…
    …As (no)styles has no nads!..

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #34

    i meant Graham!..

  • Alan

    Oct 22, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #35

    A.L 9,
    The laws of the game were significantly changed this year.
    Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct used to read as you state but it’s now been modified to (edited):
    … a player commits
    any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the
    referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

    tackles an opponent.

    This is significant in that there’s no mention of touching the opponent either before or after.
    So it’s up to the referee to judge if a tackle is careless, reckless or using excessive force; even if the player gets the ball first.

  • jettson

    Oct 22, 2008 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #36

    havnt u all heard, football is now a no-contact sport!!!! thats wat Poll (3-yellow card man) was implicating on Monday nite!! utter bollox, both him and Styles, a complete joke and sumthing has to be done to rectify the incompetence of so-called professional referees!!

  • chuck CHUCK

    Oct 22, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #37

    No doubt a tough call for any ref. and from his perspective looked a no brainer.
    Question arises, should the game resort to TV.
    replays when questionable decisions accur ?
    Should we resort to more officials ?
    As for the rules, in the circumstance we are discussing where Beye appeared to make contact with the ball, that may be true but he also appeared to make contact with the player
    before touching the ball ?
    On the offside rule, its become very subjective and fully understood by few, Its my belief it should revert to the original rule where its simple to interpret.
    There are other rules that have changed during the years, i`m refering to the shoulder charge and obstruction rules.
    In todays game the shoulder charge seems unaceptable, as for defenders arms spread escorting the ball out of play, this would have resulted in an obstruction call in the day.

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #38

    More officials would be a good start…
    …Goal line judges, 2 refs ass’s per side line(1 in each half, 2 refs(1 in each half)…Then there would be no excuses for not keepin’ up with the play…Then if that doesn’t improve things…Vid evidence!..

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 22, 2008 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #39

    More often than not, the refs go with who has most money or prestige…

  • Bill F

    Oct 22, 2008 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #40

    How about an assistant ref for each player following them on the pitch?


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