THE sending off of Raheem Sterling in Manchester City’s late win at Bournemouth was an absolute joke.
I have great respect for referee Mike Dean. But he got this wrong.
Did Sterling kick someone; did he assault an opponent; did he abuse the referee; did he take his shirt off? No, no. no, no!
His crime was celebrating an extra time winner with his adoring fans.
How is that a red card offence?
The FA need to look at this so-called ‘rule’. It’s pathetic.
A last minute winner; emotions are running high; what do you expect?
The player to run back to the half way line with arm raised – in Shearer fashion – and for the ecstatic fans to applaud nobly from their seats?
That doesn’t happen.
I hope the big-wigs at the FA rescind Sterling’s red card – AND sent out a message to officials that what Sterling did was not an offence.
Smashing an opponent in the face is an offence. Trying to break his leg with a reckless tackle is an offence.
Celebrating with your jubilant fans after scoring a late winner is NOT!
Sterling should have been allowed to walk off the field with head held high. Not bowed with shame he didn’t deserve.
If he is subsequently banned, then it is the FA and the men in suits who should hang their head in shame.
You do not know the game and what it means to the pros and the punters.
Never lose sight of that.