Graham Poll: Jermain Defoe's sending off was harsh but it wasn't wrong

27 December 2010 01:06
Jermain Defoe's 27th-minute dismissal was certainly harsh but it wasn't wrong.

The first viewing of the incident, at full speed, showed the Tottenham striker jumping with a leading arm into James Collins's face.

Controversy: Jermaine Defoe clashes in the air with James Collins

The Aston Villa defender's head snapped back and - certainly from the side view, which assistant Peter Kirkup had - it looked like a straightforward dismissal.

Referee Martin Atkinson had little choice but to show his eighth red card of this Barclays Premier League season, after consulting with Kirkup, if the advice was to dismiss.

The TV analysis of footage played at various speeds, which questioned the decision, was flawed in law.

Off you go: Jermain Defoe is shown the red card by ref Martin Atkinson

The question should not be the level of intent. No one could question whether Defoe intended for his arm to be in the air.

The decision must be based on whether the 28-year-old's action was violent, as the red card could only have been shown for violent conduct.

With the benefit of the replays, perhaps a yellow card would have satisfied all parties.

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Source: Daily_Mail