Date:Tuesday March 16 2010
Upon reviewing the video evidence, Stuart Atwell indicated that he deemed his actions taken against Steven Gerrard on Monday during the Liverpool v Portsmouth game to be perfectly satisfactorily so no further punishment is required.
What happened? Well, Gerrard hit Michael Brown from behind, twice. Atwell awarded Portsmouth a free-kick and talked to Gerrard. Then in retrospect he did not believe that Gerrard's assault was worthy of a red card and a three-match ban.
Of course I never expected Saint Steven of England to be punished and I had made the point earlier that the reason of the FA's negligence might be that they consider Gerrard as a dead weight, one who's simply pulling Liverpool back and thus they are determined to let him play at Old Trafford, giving United the best possible chance of winning on Sunday.
Yet even this explanation, which assumes good intentions, can't stop my blood boiling at the thought of Rio Ferdinand getting a four-game ban while Javier Mascherano and Steven Gerrard - incidentally, both Liverpool players - get away with much worse offences. And after a review! So, Stuart Atwell really felt that Gerrard did nothing wrong. That is not a mistake: he simply did not want to see Gerrard punished. There's no other explanation because the offence was obviously worthy of a red card, just as it is my innocent belief that flicking the V-sign to a referee should get any footballer in trouble and no exception should be made to those called Steven Gerrard.
Still, at least Gerrard will get to play at Old Trafford. However, with this kind of assistance from referees, he might actually do some damage. Which will be another disgrace of the FA and the double standards they apply.
Date:Tuesday March 16 2010
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