Red Card or Not: Chelsea Edition

Fake League Leaders Chelsea were shockingly upended by Aston Villa today 1-0. That would be a big enough headline most weekends.

But Chelsea ended the game down two players and one manager.

Referee Chris Foy sent Willian (or, as my friends and I like to call him, off at around the 68th minute on a second yellow card. He then tossed Ramires for stamping on Karim El Ahmadi in stoppage time. Jose Mourinho freaked out and tried to invade the pitch (really??), and Foy tossed him, too.

Let’s play Red Card or Not! (68th minute): The first yellow card was undeniable, and it should have made our intrepid hero a tad more cautious. However, I have to say the second yellow card did appear to be soft. There was a tug on eventual goal scorer Fabian Delph, but I’m not sure it was bad enough to send someone off.

With second yellows like this, we really don’t know what went on before this. How many times had Foy warned him verbally to that point? Did he tell him that the next time he tugged his man he’d be carded, and did it anyway?

It’s definitely possible, but we don’t know and of course the Chelsea player is going to plead innocence. Foy, who’s as calm a bloke as they come, reached for the cards immediately and shook his head as soon as Chelsea players approached him.  He seemed completely sure.

But for me, it did seem soft.

Remember: You cannot file a Wrongful Dismissal Claim if you are sent off for two yellows, so this won’t be overturned.

Red Card or Not: Probably Not

Ramires (93rd minute): I’ve kind of been over Ramires since the Great Clattenburg Debacle, I ain’t gonna lie to you. But I do try and put that aside when looking at decisions.

Looking at the video, it was a definite stamp, and a bad one. A red card is legitimate here. No doubt, it was a terrible tackle.

But my goodness, was he going fast and I’m not sure he meant to make that tackle. The referee doesn’t have to take intent into it, though. Dangerous play is dangerous play. Chelsea might feel hard done by, but Villa probably would have felt hard done by if Foy had given a yellow.

That said, Ramires was already on a yellow, and I doubt this would have gotten less. So, he probably would have been off anyway.

I’m hedging here, I know, so I’ll apply the “will it get overturned” test. Since it would have to be an “obvious error“, I doubt it very much. Foy was in perfect position, there was obvious contact, and it’s a judgment call – and the Commission is not in the business of questioning the referees’ judgment.

I say this will stand and therefore…

Red Card or Not: Red Card

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jose’s sending off, but I’m not going to flatter him with too much of my time. You do not go onto the field of play during a game to argue with the ref. You just don’t. No matter how special you think you are.

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