FC Barcelona. “Mes Que Un Club”? You bet.

Mono. Spanish translation for ‘Monkey’, can be used as a derogatory insult towards someone of black origin. Barcelona Football Club know this, Marcelo at Real Madrid knows this, god, most of Western civilisation is aware of the hatred caused by racism – So why is it when Sergio Busquets is caught on camera during the Champions League Semi-Final 2011 abusing the Madrid full back with this phrase do UEFA not deem punishment necessary?  

I’ll let you make up your own mind if you can spot it;

To me, incidents like that should see a 5 match ban for Busquets, UEFA themselves have pressed hard the “Let’s Kick Racism Out Of Football” initiative in recent years, and backed heavily Nike’s “Stand Up Speak Up” campaign. So why has Busquets been cleared to play in the Wembley showpiece at the end of the month? Surely actions, or lack of, by UEFA undermine the aforementioned efforts to eliminate racism from the game? Admittedly, Spain has it’s problems with racism, English fans need to only look back to 2004 to remind themselves of the abuse Shaun Wright-Phillips & (C)Ashley Cole were subject to in Madrid, and that went essentially un-punished.

Now, if everyone is thinking; “Hang on a minute, hasn’t Busquet’s been in the firing line before for his sporting conduct?”, well…. You’re right. Last season Inter Milan were reduced to 10 men in their match with Barcelona following this incident. Thankfully, it didn’t effect the outcome of the tie, but looking further back down the line there are a list of examples of Barcelona being the beneficiaries of officiating. More later.

So, are FC Barcelona favourably treated by UEFA? Jose Mourinho seems to think so.

And he just might have a point.

Everyone who watches Barcelona play can see they are a footballing wonder. They dominate possession, they can be clinical, their first touch, incisive passing, ability to close the ball down defensively too. On their day, they are capable of beating anyone.

However, when it’s not their day, and particularly noticeable in The Champions League, they tend to get the ‘rub of the green’.

2011 Champions League Semi-Final vs Real Madrid (first leg), whilst Di Maria was arguably guilty of similar offences, the players of FC Barcelona continually play-acted, feigning injury. Most notably Daniel Alves in his quest to see Pepe red carded. Video replays show that Pepe, whilst being high, did not make any contact with the Brazilian, yet Alves rolled around the ground like he had broken his leg. At the same time, 9/10 outfield players, + goalkeeper Victor Valdes sprinted to the referee, demanding to see a red card – An offence FIFA outlined at the World Cup 2006 was punishable by a yellow card for unsportsman-like conduct.

2011 Champions League Round of 16 vs Arsenal at Camp Nou (second leg), with the tie poised at 1-1 (3-2 to Arsenal on aggregate), the Londoners were positioned to go through to the Quarter Finals. Van Persie, already on a booking is sent through on goal and lashes his shot sky high and wide. In the build up, Van Persie had been flagged for offside, the referee then deemed Van Persie shooting as an act of dissent, punishable by a yellow card, his second of the match. Replays showed that Van Persie had enfact shot 0.6 seconds after the whistle was blown, a whistle the Dutchman claimed to have not heard due to the 90,000 crowd’s atmosphere. Reducing Arsenal to 10 men allowed Barcelona to bring the full backs into play more, and ultimately the Catalans ran out winners. Looking further back, there’s evidence to suggest Barcelona’s equilising goal in 2006 Champions League final vs Arsenal was offside, too.

….. There’s a pattern developing.

Back a further few years to 2008, to what Jose Mourinho described as ‘a scandal’ in his post-match Bernabeu interview (2011, above), and Champions League Semi-Final vs Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (2nd leg), Chelsea being eliminated by the away goals rule thanks to a sublime Andres Iniesta strike late in the match. But the controversy came in the refereeing decisions once again; now, I’m by no means a Chelsea fan, enfact, I rather dislike the club as a whole, but I can see 3 penalties for them in the 2nd leg, ask many Chelsea fans and they claim they can see 10+.  Again, please, make up your own mind with ITV’s highlighted 4.

Is it UEFA? Whilst refereeing decisions have the benefit of replaying to analyse, the Sergio Busquets racist comments were put to a panel and dismissed – Can they be serious? Have they bottled making such a big decision which would affect such a big outcome? In 2008 when Darren Fletcher was wrongly red carded late-on vs Arsenal in the Semi-Final, missing the Final – UEFA upheld the decision then, (meaning Fletcher would not feature against FCB) in my opinion, wrongly. Different club, different rules?

Is football elitist? – I think we all know that’s a yes, particularly whilst Blatter and Platini are at the head of their not so respected governing bodies. My personal quarrel was the decision to seed the World Cup European Play-Off draws for the first time in 2010, coincidentally the year in which France did not qualify automatically.  

Is it a question of culture? Does Spanish football simply have no shame in cheating in order to gain the upper hand? It would appear not, but my question needs to be of Pep Guardiola, having played in successful Barcelona sides which had an aura of commanding authority, who played fairly and out-skilled their opponents, why wouldn’t he alter the on-the-field actions of his players? Barcelona clearly know that reducing their opposition to 10 men increases their chances of passing through them, is getting a player sent off a game plan? They are surely conducting themselves outwith the desired nature of the game?

During Mourinho’s post match interview from the Champions League Semi Final, he praises the footballing abilities of Barcelona, but questions the need for such a great team, capable of such great things, to be handed the upper hand in matches when things aren’t going well for them. To that point I agree.  Therefore, despite my Premier League dislike for the club, for similar reasons, I will be supporting Manchester United in the Champions League Final, because what they have achieved, who they have beaten – Fairly – in order to earn the right to play at Wembley, is far more deserved of my support.

Barcelona are a good team, at times they have the ability to showcase not only what I like about watching football, but what I aspire to in playing football. But for every Dr. Jekyll there’s a Mr. Hyde. And until they can win a Champions League trophy not tainted in scandal (and should they beat United I assure you that will not be one), they will not have my backing.

This debate in particular is close to my oh so opinionated self, so any comments/feedback etc will all be published regardless. I welcome your input. 

Over and out.

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About the12thman

A twenty-something football fan with two business management degrees. I run @_the12thman because my friends told me I talk about football too much on my personal twitter/facebook. Turned out quite well, 2 years on. View all posts by the12thman

20 responses to “FC Barcelona. “Mes Que Un Club”? You bet.

  • Vikram

    mate, I saw your blog link on the BBC sports site and followed it back here. I also read your blog. I agree with all your comments about the decisions that went in favour of Barcelona. And here let me be fair by saying that I support Barcelona. Having said that, my favourite team is Arsenal. So, with that background, I will focus on two matches only – Barcelona-Arsenal final as well as Barcelona-Arsenal match this year in UCL. A lot of comments have also highlighted the fact (which you haven’t mentioned here) have talked about that particular final victory being tainted as it was against 10 men, as well as the fact that second goal was possibly offside. See that match again, and you will see that, leaving aside that decision against Lehmann, Kolo Toure should have been sent off within the first 25 minutes for a really violent tackle. Also, Eboue won the free-kick, that led to the goal, through one of the worst blatant dives I have ever seen (as bad as what Pedro tried in the semis).
    Coming to the match this year, Van Persie’s send-off while right by the letter of the law was extremely stupid. However, how does one explain the goal by Messi that was disallowed at Emirates. If not, the score when Van persie was dismissed would have been 3-3, and Barcelona would still be through. Arsenal had had no shots at goal till the time that Van Persie was sent off, yes the match could have changed afterwards, and as Arsenal showed you don’t need to have a shot at goal to score.
    Mourinho is a great tactician and man-manager, but I won’t ever believe that he is ethical. So if he makes a charge about ethics against someone I wouldn’t follow it blindly. I would be hard pressed to find any victory where there were some decisions didn’t go the victor’s way, be it Porto’s Champions league victory, Arsenal’s Invincibles (with the blatant dives from Pires), Man United’s victory in EPL this season or even Barcelona’s victory in La Liga this season where Real Madrid raised some valid questions about the fairness of some of the decisions that went their way.
    The reason why most non-supporters of Man U hate that team is because of the feeling that decisions always tend to favour them. It’s the same case with Barcelona who have won more their fair share of matches and hence these decisions seemed to be bunched together. I can give counter-arguments about a number of decisions for each of the matches you mentioned above. Usually, the last decision which favored Barcelona is the one that has been mentioned here as the game-changing one. However, in each of these cases there were decisions before that decision which might have resulted in the match being completely different. Most of these arguments assume that the pro-decisions would have resulted in an action which would have hurt Barcelona (penalties can be missed) but the ones that did not go in their favour would not have affected the match.
    if we start discussing each of the winners over the past few seasons, we can find decisions which favored the victor (the offside goal that was allowed in Inter-Milan vs. Barcelona or the disallowed goal at death in the same match or for that matter Inter Milan’s win against Chelsea but since this was a one-off, there is no trend to be seen, or Liverpool’s victory against Chelsea in 2004-2005 when the goal is still contested).
    All I am trying to say is that you will find such favorable decisions in every campaign (be at UCL or league level). It becomes a trend when they win too much as Man U have done (and boy, do i hate them for it including the dive by Rooney to win the penalty in the 50th match) or Barcelona are doing. There is no agenda here.
    As for the claim of Spain believing that cheating works, well England believes that being rough works. Terry said that he lets the opposite striker know that he is in a match by giving him a hard tackle early on, Gascoigne (my favourite English player over the last 30 odd years) said the same thing. Every country has its own way of behaving. Every team tries a tactic, some believe being a sissy is right, some believe that being a bully is right. Which one is right mate? Anyways, that is me getting into another debate which we can leave for some other time.
    For the moment, and sorry for this really long response, all I will leave you with is my belief that there is no agenda. No one was helping Barcelona to bounce back when they were done, just about 6 years back (see results before 2005). So there is no reason to believe that things have suddenly changed now. We can’t even say that UEFA favors the big teams because by that same logic the completely valid goal score by Man U against Porto would not have been disallowed. This is a collection of mistakes and they get highlighted because these teams have won a lot.
    Take care mate, and kudos on a well-crafted blog article.

    • Clay

      Vikram with regards to the RVP sending off in 2011 QF …Messi did the same thing in the same game got flagged for offise and he shot at goal so if following the letter of the law why ddint the ref give him a yellow card. Fact of the matter is Barcelona won that game after the red card to Van Persie and we all know the ref was wrong period. Barcelona have been favoured and Mourinho was very right, he might not be the best person to say it but that deos not mean he is lying. No point defending Barcelona we all have eyes.

    • sarath

      Nice reading to both the author and Vikram.
      But Vikram, like millions of people, I too like the way Barca play, but you trying to generalize the matter of getting these kind of decisions is ridiculous.

      Barca is getting a lot of decisions due to some reason. Hope someone will bring it to light someday.

      As agreeing with the author, although I hate Man U, they are the lesser of two evils and hence will be rooting for them for the big event in Wembly.

  • Michael Cope

    For what its worth, I think some of the major issues at play here are:

    * FIFA/UEFA’s jealousy of the English game…including the wealth and global fanbase of the Premiership, and even relative success in the Champions League

    * FIFA/UEFA also has powerful sponsors who are also jealous.

    FIFA/UEFA likes non contact Fusbal instead of the game we watch in the UK…and that isn’t to say that Rooney or Gerrard don’t dive, or that players don’t still surround the ref…it is just that we consider it unacceptable rather than an “art of the game” as is the case in Latin football.

    All of this is unlikely to lead to a break away IPL/Kerry Packer esque football league…but UEFA/FIFA are all too aware that people the world over love to see our teams, like the style of football (only in the Premiership could a team like Blackpool play they way they do) and recognise that in every national tournament the British teams take the most fans (proportionately).

    So we have a stalemate where both sides hate each other but don’t want to be the one to make the first move to a divorce or at least Relate counselling!!

    Just on the Blackpool etc last game of the season, it is interesting to contrast this with the Spanish league where it is more or less a done deal with half of the opposition for relegated teams openly offering a gimme.

    The sad fact for Barcelona etc is that they are a great team, redefining football for the modern age and scoring great goals by the bucket load. BUT I have no doubt that as “the top show in town” they get preferential treatment akin to that of a Hollywood or Rock star in compared to other teams.

    • markbritton7

      I hope you sign back in and get to see this @Michael Cope;

      .. All excellent points. I think all are right, it could easily be more jealousy of the game! Which is why the maybe don’t favour too well on Mourinho, who wins by doing the ugly stuff well.

      Thanks for reading!

  • NelsonRFC82

    Mark, I think your comment “There’s a pattern developing” is very apt but possibly not in the way you meant it. The pattern is that there is a focus on every favourable decision Barcelona receive as proof positive of refs/authorities conspiring in their favour. Yet at the same time complete ignorance of decisions going against them.

    You have highlighted 5 ties for your “pattern”. I’ll be honest to say my memory of the 2006 final is not the best, but in terms of the other 4.

    Barca – Chelsea
    During the first leg, Barcelona were denied a penalty for a foul on Henry.
    In the second leg, Barcelona were denied a penalty for a Ballack handball. Eric Abidal was also harshly sent off during this game.

    Barca – Inter
    Barca requested the game be postponed due to the travel diffculties caused by the ash cloud but UEFA (yes those guys who love and do anything for Barca) insisted they, instead, travel by coach.
    During the game, Inter benefitted from an offside call as Milito scored to make it 3-1.
    In the second leg, Barcelona were harshly denied a winning goal in the dying seconds.

    Barcelona – Arsenal
    In the 1st leg, already winning 1-0. Messi’s goal was incorrectly ruled out as offside. A 2 goal lead away from home, may well have settle the tie then and there?
    During the second leg, Barcelona were also denied a penalty for a clear trip on Messi by Koscielny.

    Barcelona – Madrid
    In the 1st leg, Marcelo clearly stamps on Pedro but avoids a red card.
    In the 2nd leg, Carvalho must have committed something close to 10 fouls, 8 of which after collecting a yellow card but miraculously avoids a 2nd yellow. Xabi Alonso & Lass Diarra not far behind Carvalho in the crime count.

    If I was so inclined, I could use the same games that you have highlight to provide a list of decision to act as proof of a “pattern emerging” that suggest officials are biased against Barcelona!

    However, I am not so inclined and recognise in most games/tournaments there will be contentious decisions. Most of the decisions I have listed are of a contentious nature, but so too are the decisions you have listed in Barca’s favour. With the exception of the events from Stamford Bridge, and I can understand Chelsea’s lingering hurt over that. In isolation, each of the penalty calls were not exactly of the blatant stonewaller category, but it’s the sheer volume of decisions against them that would be very hard to take.

    Onto the racism debate, I believe UEFA stated “not enough evidence” rather than suggesting racism is acceptable as you hint.

    I would also ask how many people could spot Busquets saying “mono” watching the video without first being told Busquets said mono, and being informed what mono means. It is often easier to see something when you are specifically looking for it.

    Maybe, just maybe, UEFA asked independent experts (such as qualified lip readers) to view the tape and give their verdict on how likely the evidence would stand up in court?

    For example, Marcelo actually comes into view, blocking some of Busquets face, as he talks. This may have impeded the possibility to convict on this evidence.

    Also, I personally have some doubts about him actually saying it. Consider how many syllables are in mono, Busquets appears to make 3 jaw movements as he speaks. Doesn’t appear to fit.

    The other “evidence” against Busquets is that he covers his mouth. But he actually has his hand to his face/mouth prior to saying something to Marcelo and then again after speaking, while walking away. I’m certainly not suggesting he was in any pain, given his previous, but he is certainly not averse to giving the appearance he was in pain and this could explain why his hand was on his face?

  • dan

    In fairness to UEFA im not sure that footage is concise enough to charge him with it even if it is more than likely he did say it.

    Vikram makes some valid points but the key match and he knows it that he left out is the Chelsea game when they had three definite penalties and neither were given. I can’t stand chelsea but they were robbed in that game and in reality instead of castigating chelsea for their reaction there really should have been a thorough investigation into that game. I’ve never seen a refereeing performance like that and I’m sure I never will again. I would challenge Vikram to make excuses for this game, cos of course he can’t, yes barca got one bad decision in the 1st leg but it seemed that was a mistake whereas the ref in the return leg was clearly biased.

    Anyway Barca certainly get the rub of the green in the champs league from what I’ve seen and the blog is right, this will be another CL that will be tainted, although I don’t expect Barca to care, as they seem quite happy with these decisions and why shouldn’t they I suppose?!

    Anyway great article.

  • Barry

    Great article! I am not British, but I fully agree that both FIFA and UEFA are biased against British teams! Favouring Barcelona and their constant playactng is very obvious and really disturbing. If both Blatter and Platini are not dismised soon the Grat game would continue to decline… The last 2 years of refereing “mistakes” and favouritism are beyond belief!! The fact that nothing is done against corrupt referees like the one in the Chelsea-Barcelona game brings th egame into disrepute!

  • J

    Van Persie can claim he didn’t hear the whistle but funnily enough all the other players did and he didn’t “not” hear it before this event. Yellow seems harsh though.

  • Pete

    There is absolutely no mention of the fact that Mourinho hardly sends his teams out to play football against Barcelona. In the four matches Real Madrid has played against Barcelona recently the Madrid players have literally assaulted Barcelona players particularly the first two matches i.e league and cup match, however there are numerous examples in the CL semis. Maybe the Barca players got sick of being hacked every time a Madrid player made a ‘tackle’ so they wrongly resorted to feigning injury hoping that the ref would eventually do something

  • Tariq

    This idea of a pro-Barca conspiracy is very entertaining. Was there also a conspiracy to hand Spain the World Cup in South Africa, since the core of that squad was from Barca (Puyol, Pique, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Villa)?

    I detest some of Barca’s acting, especially on the part of Busquets. It’s annoying. That being said, I think that appealing to some sort of conspiracy is clutching at straws. I think the real reason there are so many bad calls in football is this stubborn resistance to technology. And if we want to bring up referees, then what of Rooney’s goal in the Final? Giggs was CLEARLY offside in the buildup. One could easily make the baseless claim that FIFA wanted a competitive Final, and so awarded Man Utd an offside goal against the run of play in an attempt to bring a clearly outplayed Finalist back into the game. The only trouble with that claim, like all of the pro-Barca claims, is that it is baseless.

    Everybody just casually mentions that Chelsea “got robbed” in 2009 because they had 14 clear penalties denied them. Well, let’s go back to that game. What are those clear penalties everyone keeps going on about?

    There was only one incident in that entire game where Chelsea could have reasonably been awarded a penalty, and that was when Pique’s hand touched the ball in the second half. That’s it. Every other claim is dubious at best. Conversely, Eric Abidal was sent off and subsequently missed the Final because Nicolas Anelka tripped on his own feet. To say nothing of Henry’s legitimate claim to a penalty in the first leg.

    I mean, go back and look at the penalty claims. I remember Ballack chasing the referee up the field and gesticulating like an epilepsy patient because the ball hit Eto’o’s back. It really is pathetic.

    And while we’re on the subject of Chelsea, I seem to remember that they eliminated Barca in 2005. John Terry scored Chelsea’s winning goal, but it should have been disallowed for a foul on Valdes.

    But here’s the thing: I don’t think crying over missed calls is ever legitimate. Even though Terry’s goal should not have stood, that’s not the reason Barca were eliminated. They were eliminated because Frank Rijkaard was caught off guard by Mourinho in the second leg and conceded 3 goals in the first 15 minutes. If you put yourself in a situation to lose, don’t blame the ref for getting a call or two wrong. Blame yourself.

    Similarly, in last year’s CL, Inter clearly benefitted from blown calls: Diego Milito’s third at the San Siro was clearly offside. In addition, Bojan Krkic scored a perfectly legal goal at the end of the 2nd leg that would have taken Barca to the Final, but was disallowed for reasons I will never understand. Yet I do not credit the referees with eliminating Barcelona. Barca did not deserve to advance last year, because Inter exploited their defensive weaknesses in the first leg. If you come up short, blame yourself first.

    And that’s the point I’m trying to get at. This business of blaming referees (in any sport) is only borne out of a desire to rationalize an opponent’s superiority. A Real Madrid fan, for example, can either admit that the current Barcelona side are light years ahead of the current incarnation of Real Madrid, or he can convince himself that that superiority is only a product of a conspiracy, the removal of which would end the hated Barca’s reign and restore dignity and justice to the world. Our friend the Real fan will obviously find it more comforting to lament this shadow conspiracy. It is far more difficult to admit that Barcelona are unquestionably, undeniably the best team in the world and possibly the best ever.

    Listen, I can understand why Jose Mourinho made those accusations:

    1- To gain an advantage. I am sure that the ONLY reason Ricardo Carvalho was not given a red card in the 2nd leg of this year’s CL semi-final was that the referee was thinking about Mourinho’s accusations. If Carvalho had been sent off like he deserved to be, Mourinho would have had a field day.

    2- To help Real’s players with their sense of inferiority. It must be difficult to be a Real Madrid player these days. Real Madrid are the greatest club in the history of football. Nobody can dispute that. They have NINE European cups. They are THE club of the 20th century. And they opened this century with a moment of magic from Zidane that captured yet another European crown against Bayer Leverkusen. They were kings. And yet, for nearly a decade now, they have been second-best. They have not only been beaten by Barca, they have been humiliated. They have been beaten 6-2 on their own ground and 5-0 in the Camp Nou. Their own fans were compelled to stand up and applaud Ronaldinho at the Bernabeau. And the most troubling part is not that Barcelona win, but that they win with the attacking flair that Real have always aspired to. That must be a humbling situation to be in. Mourinho recognizes this, and his ploy is to convince his players that Barcelona are not really superior, they aren’t really the blueprint to a type of dream-football. No, they win because they have UNICEF printed on their shirts. They win because of referees, because of diving. They win because of numerology, because of ghosts, because of sheep, because of ghosts of sheep. Whatever reason you want to use to convince yourself. Whatever works for you. And that is a clever way to motivate his players. Otherwise Lassana Diarra and Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas and even the mighty Cristiano Ronaldo can only quiver in the realization that they will ALWAYS be second-best.

  • Tariq

    *I meant to say UEFA, not FIFA

  • cantona

    NelsonRFC – abidal WAS harshley sent off at stamford bridge AFTER he should have already been sent off for bringing down drogba in the box when he was the last defender.

    You are trying to say the author isn’t mentioning things but you have done exactly the same right there. Hypocritical to say the least

  • Mike

    The UCL final on sat against united tho was a cracker,barca totally outplayed united and UEFA had nothing to do with the beating.

  • NelsonRFC82

    Cantona,

    To call your comment ironic wouldn’t do it justice!

    The whole point of my post was to illustrate how easy it is to draw baseless and inaccurate conclusions by merely focusing on one side of any argument.

    The author has done so by solely pointing out decisions in Barcelona’s favour. I have deliberately countered this by solely highlighting decisions that went against Barcelona. By the author’s own logic this would suggest a “pattern” of UEFA/Refereeing bias against Barcelona.

    The truth of the matter, to most logical people anyway, given how easy it is list decisions both for and against Barcelona, is that time immemorial football concept that some decisions go for you and some go against!

    I must admit I do love a good conspiracy theory, and many people want to run with this pro-Barca UEFA theory. Having had this discussion with many people over the past few years, I have never had an answer to this very simple question:

    Why, if said conspiracy exists, is it so easy for me to name quite a lengthy list of decisions that have gone against Barcelona in high profile matches? Or as Jose would say, por que, por que?

    The usual response is similar to that of Cantona above and just starting naming other decisions that have gone in their favour but alas proving nothing towards a conspiracy.

    By the way Mark, I would have thought matters closer to home may have given you a better perspective on such matters as this mindset is very similar to that adopted by Celtic fans in their SPL conspiracy crusade, list all decisions against you and ignore all decisions in your favour and somehow prove a conspiracy?

  • Shi-V

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the supposed Barca conspirancy but I have a mind of my own about it.
    I think that the Barca adopted system of play ( the passing game )tends to frustrate their opponents to a point were they resort to tackles as a way of getting the ball back.When you watch all the Barca games (including the ones they’ve lost), they always dominate possession and this beautiful football has brought about the success of the club.

    Gents,lets give credit were it is due.This is the same system that took the world cup to spain and everyone of us recalls the comments and the tackles of the frustrated dutch players which resulted in one red card.

    Moreover Barca proved a point when they outclassed Man U in the Champions League finals for the second time in three years.

    Hate them or Love them,they always play excellent entertainment football coupled with classic goals and I believe that in the near future we’ll look back and appreciate what this team has achieved.

    Everything good attracts attention and criticism.This is the case with Barca and any other team that may arise henceforth.Lets learn to appreciate whats good and not always take a negative perspective on any dominating factor.

  • Andrew

    I agree with most of what you say but you’re delusional if you don’t think it was a red card for Fletcher v Arsenal 2009. Last man, scoring opportunity, brought down = red card even IF it was accidental.

  • Elan

    Andrew, Fletcher got the ball! Look at the ball’s course in the air… it changes direction fractionally. Fletcher got a slight touch and nicked it away. Look at the reverse angle…

    BTW, Abidal’s red card also wasn’t rescinded. So there was injustice on both sides…

  • Parcha Lane

    i wont waste my time trying to explain….so let me just say, ‘USE YOUR BRAIN’ for once people.
    If history tells us one thing it is that, whenever a team starts to play well and GET RESULTS people get jealous and…………..

  • Siena Denton (@fury12)

    Hello.I went to view the YouTube video and blow me down…This video contains content from UEFA , who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

    UEFA.com “Let’s Kick Racism Out Of Football” and Favouritism.

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