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Referee was Right, Neil Warnock is Wrong
The supposed controversy surrounding the referee's decisions in the QPR v Villa game is most definitely unfounded.
Before any QPR fans jump on this, let us please look at the facts. Gabby unquestionably had his shirt pulled. That is against the rules of football and, in that situation, it is a foul.
There is a distinct difference between tussling in the box before a corner and a player running through on goal from open play.
Neil Warnock stating in his interview that there was "no way" that it was a penalty is surprising given the clear evidence on the replay. I would, therefore, challenge Neil Warnock to go on record and state that shirt pulling is now allowed in football if that is indeed his opinion.
Of course it is not allowed, and because his player pulled a shirt the penalty was justified. It doesn't matter how superficial the tug was, the fact is that pulling shirts is not permitted. It is as simple as that. The fact that the crowd did not react means absolutely nothing. The shirt pull was behind Gabby, and the crowd were in front of him.
So, the QPR manager is wrong. He is also wrong about BOTH of the Hutton decisions.
Let me make this clear- ordinarily the first Hutton handball WOULD be penalty. He did move towards the ball and it would normally be a penalty in my book.
However, what Warnock apparently did not see was the fact that Joey Barton was mauling Shay Given on the goal line, impeding him and preventing him from making a save. Barton was doing that BEFORE the ball hit Hutton, so before a penalty the referee would have to award a foul on the goalkeeper.
Had Shay not be clearly fouled on the line, I would perhaps feel sorry for QPR. As it happens, the two fouls cancelled each other out and play was allowed to continue.
The third incident was easy- not handball in a million years. From that distance and in those circumstances it can only be ball to hand.
Neil Warnock is a good manager, and seems to be a genuinely nice bloke, but I disagree with him on this one.
As for the Michael Oliver, I think he had a great game and has no reason to think that there is any controversy to be ashamed of. The attention he is getting for this game is unfair and will not help this young referee.
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