John Terry's Red Card Overturned By The FA

Alan McGuinnessSenior Analyst ISeptember 16, 2008

Well, I have to say I'm pretty shocked to hear this. The FA have shown (in my opinion), some common sense and overturned John Terry's red card against Manchester City.

Terry got a straight red for hauling down Jo near the halfway line, with Ricardo Carvalho and Jose Bosingwa close to the action, meaning Terry was not the last man.

A yellow card should have been the punishment if the referee had deemed the challenge to be a professional foul.

However, the FA confirmed yesterday that referee Mark Halsey sent Terry off for serious foul play.

FIFA defines series foul play as follows:

"A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.

"Using excessive force means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.

"Any player who lunges at an opponent when challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent, is guilty of serious foul play."

What John Terry did was cynical certainly, but it didn't endanger the opponent, unlike Danny Guthrie's frankly shocking tackle on Caleb Folan at the weekend.

Plus, shirt-pulling goes on all over the pitch. If what Halsey did on Saturday was taken as a precedent, then refs would have to send someone off every time a corner is taken.

Chelsea lodged a complaint for wrongful dismissal, and the FA has upheld that claim.

In a statement, the Football Association said:

"At an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, a claim for wrongful dismissal from Chelsea's John Terry was upheld.

"Terry was shown a red card for serious foul play during Chelsea's match against Manchester City on 13 September.

"As a result of today's hearing, Terry's three match suspension has been withdrawn."

Had the decision been upheld, Terry would have miss Sunday's crucial clash with Champions Manchester United, as well as the Carling Cup Third Round tie with Portsmouth and the league encounter with Premiership new-boys Stoke City.

Yesterday I wrote an article entitled "John Terry's Appeal Looks Doomed To Fail" and I ended the article on a negative note:

"A decision on the appeal will be reached tomorrow, but I'm not holding out much hope."

In this instance I'm glad to say I have been proven wrong!