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26th November 2013

Not a good weekend for refereeing but neither was it for goalkeepers.

Will Lloris and especially Boruc be expected to issue apologies to their supporters, will the demand be there for them to be demoted, suspended and made to take account of their errors? I think not, but it's different for match officials.

Ironically the reffing errors came after Howard Webb and his team had expertly controlled the vital World Cup play-off game between Sweden and Portugal showing the world that we still possess some of the bess officials on the planet.

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Saturday started with the excellent Mersey derby a game that had everything that is apart from the usual red card, albeit that there should really have been a dismissal.

Kevin Mirallas made a knee high studs up challenge on Luis Suarez that was worthy of a red card. Ref Phil Dowd, who otherwise had a good game including some excellent advantages, got that one wrong. He was correct though in his assessment of the aerial challenge made by Steven Gerrard. His arm was dangerously placed as he jumped but he did not propel it towards the opponent or indeed make any contact.

At West Ham where Cheslea drubbed the Hammers, they conceded a clear penalty when Juskaileinan brought down a Chelsea forward. It wasn't a red card but I was amazed that referee Chris Foy didn't brandish a yellow. Not every offence in the penalty area warrants a card as well as a spot kick, but I thought that this one did.

Never a weekend goes by without Sunderland being involved in some red card controversy it seems and their two dismissals at Hull were fully justified. Larsson should have seen red against Manchester City but on Saturday at Hull Wes Brown should never have walked for what was an excellent tackle.

Maybe referee Kevin Friend who took his time to make his decision looked at the speed at which Brown propelled himself into the challenge and saw Charlie Adam fly through the air as he took evasive action, however the ball was won clearly and fairly and it's good to see the FA have overturned the card saving Brown from a suspension.

Sunday and the turn of Neil Swarbrick to be in the limelight. He appeared to have a clear view of yet another example of Wayne Rooney's petulance. Rooney has apologised for his bad 'tackle'. Sorry Wayne it wasn’t a tackle, it was a kick.

I really don't know how the ref describes the offence in his report but if he saw it clearly enough to be confident in taking disciplinary action, it just had to be a red card.

Have a good week.

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