Manchester City's Vincent Kompany has forecast an "unprecedented wave" of red cards following his sending off against Manchester United.
The City captain is set to start a four-match ban by missing the club's League Cup semi-first leg at home to Liverpool on Wednesday after an FA panel rejected his appeal against a red card.
Many observers felt referee Chris Foy was unduly harsh in sending off Kompany who won the ball cleanly from Nani and did not appear to make contact with the United player, although the Belgian defender had gone in with two feet.
But others, including United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, felt Foy had little choice given the current laws of the game.
FA Cup holders City, who were already 1-0 down at the time, went on to lose Sunday's third round tie 3-2 as their defence of the trophy they won last season lasted just one match.
Kompany said his red card was a sign of how the English game was changing for the worse and vented his frustrations on his Facebook page.
"I appealed because I obviously completely disagreed with the interpretation of the officials on the day but that happens in football and we move on," he said.
"I wonder though if we are now going to see an unprecedented wave of red cards on match days because we sanction 'ifs' and 'maybes'?
"Are we going to look back at video evidence for every single challenge that goes unnoticed by the officials, look at different scenarios and potential outcomes of what could have been considered a good tackle and then sanction it?
"Players and managers are starting to expect more sending offs from referees and I think it's for the wrong reasons."
Kompany, a key figure in City's climb to the top of the Premier League table, added: "My understanding is that English football prides itself on the hardness, the fairness and the tradition of its game.
"That is why hundreds of millions of people tune in to watch Premier League football and English referees have always been a key factor to that success.
"So I don't agree with people saying that referees in this country aren't doing well as I think they are the best in the world.
"Hopefully common sense will prevail again in the future and I for one hope not to see consistency in sending offs and suspensions when the intent of a player is to win the ball."
He stressed he'd left it until now to speak out so as not to be accused of trying to influence the appeal panel.
"I'd like to add to this that I waited for the suspension to be confirmed before making any comments on the matter as I didn't want to give the impression that I was using the media as a tool to benefit my own personal agenda in this case," Kompany explained.
"I'm not speaking on behalf of the club or anybody else, this isn't me defending myself, this is just me raising a genuine concern."