EPL Opinion : Media & Referees Are Lenient to Local Players over Foreigners

Asif KhanContributor IIAugust 13, 2011

Gervinho and Joey Barton
Gervinho and Joey BartonShaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal and Newcastle played out a 0-0 draw which ended up in another fiesty encounter when Joey Barton's manhandling of Gervinho saw a flare up and his eventual sending off for slapping Barton.

I have a serious issue with the way referees and British media seem to be lenient to British players whenever there is an altercation between them and foreign players. An example in this case is today's encounter where Gervinho was sent off but Joey Barton got away with a yellow card!

If Joey Barton wasn't English would have got away with attacking and manhandling Gervinho with just a yellow card?

I was looking at some of the match coverage on British websites and I didn't have to go too far to see the bias in reporting the altercation,

For example The Daily Mirror read "The Ivory Coast international was dismissed with 14 minutes remaining of the Barclays Premier League encounter after lashing out at the midfielder when he confronted him over what he believed was a dive inside the home penalty area."

Note the clever use of the word confronted and dive. If it was Wayne Rooney instead of Gervinho the words would have been a lot more against Barton.

While BBC says, "The Ivorian striker was shown a red card with 14 minutes to go when he slapped Joey Barton after the pair had tangled in the penalty area."

Notice the words tangled where it should have read manhandled and attacked. Running at someone, grabbing them by both hands and shaking them, is that the definition of tangled?

Followers of other leagues, is it the same case in other leagues too where referees and media tend to be lenient and favour local players over foreigners?

The article first appeared on www.isport.in