Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Should Rob Styles be rested again?...

Referee Rob Styles has landed himself in another controversy following his decision not to award Manchester United a penalty when Cristiano Ronaldo was brought down by Fulham keeper Niemi on Monday night. The Reds eventually ran out two-nil winners courtesy of a well taken Ronaldo brace. Ronaldo was on a hatrick when the former Saints keeper brought him down inside the box - it was a clear penalty - yet Styles booked Ronaldo for diving.

As a result of the yellow card the Portuguese winger now faces a possible suspension at some stage in the season. Ronaldo made the mistake of applauding Styles for the poor decision and no doubting the FA will take the easy way out by saying the player had been booked for dissent which was not the case as the referee had already brandished his yellow card before the winger reacted.

This latest incident comes on the back of another recent poor Styles display in the game between Liverpool and Chelsea after which the referee was 'rested' for poor decision making. In that game Styles wrongly awarded a very soft penalty to Chelsea.

The FA set a precedent by punishing Styles and having done so, there needs to be some consistency. Which raises the question should Styles be rested again? If the FA has a grain of sense they will strike-off Ronaldo's yellow card as the result was not affected by the none award of the penalty - the real damage was the yellow card and surely there has to be some sympathy for the player on this occasion given it was a blatant spot-kick.

This latest decision must be a concern for all concerned because clearly this was another easy to decision to make and yet again Styles got it completely wrong. Earlier on in the week Fergie stated that he fears standards of refereeing are in decline, after this latest howler many will agree.


  1. He got it wrong - maybe the FA should have three strikes and you miss a month of games. We were sat there in the Stretford End and we thought the Fulham goalie was getting off lightly with a yellow card. Couldn't believe it. Also the Lino should be rested, some of the offside decisions looked way off.

    Biffa at Old Trafford


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