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.
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.