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Panel’s penalty review isn’t the way to go

Jose Mourinho's unbeaten home record as Chelsea's manager over two spells was preserved on the weekend when an injury-time penalty enabled them to snatch a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion and deny Albion a first league win at Stamford Bridge in 35 years.

Mourinho, who hasn't lost at Stamford Bridge in 65 matches, was heading to defeat when the referee pointed to the spot after Ramirez went down following a collision with West Brom fullback Steven Reid. The football shows on SportsMax have been analysing the foul all week and I must admit I was one of those who didn't think it was a penalty.

In the last couple of weeks we have seen a few penalties that shouldn't have been awarded. Norwich's penalty against my team, West Ham, looked questionable. The West Ham goalkeeper made a mistake by dropping the ball but I thought he then got to it first before the player went down and the referee gave the penalty.

That changed the game completely. Norwich equalised from the spot and then went on to win the match 3-1. There isn't much you can do about it.

Just the previous week, Fulham defender Sascha Riether was charged by the FA and subsequently banned for three matches for stamping on Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj, which was missed by both the referee and linesman.

However, Riether became the first player to be charged by the FA under a new pilot project for ‘not seen' incidents with the television footage reviewed by a three-man panel of former referees and the subsequent ban imposed.

I don't think using the panel for such incidents as penalties, given or not given, is the way to go. Let's leave it the way it is, otherwise if we keep interfering with the game it won't be 90 minutes anymore but more like 120 minutes with the time-outs.

I think there's a big difference between giving a player a ban when he has deliberately gone over the top in a tackle and deciding the referee made a mistake, so let's reverse the penalty decision.

Mistakes are part of the game and unfortunately that sort of stuff happens and seems to be happening on a regular basis. It is something that they need to look at but we must bear in mind the referees are human and they are going to make mistakes like the players make mistakes.

It is just something that we have to accept. You have goalline technology, what are you going to do next — take a time-out and look at the replay of certain calls?

Last weekend was a weekend for upsets with Newcastle winning away to Spurs and Sunderland beating Manchester City.

I know my friend Dr Donald Simmons is happy because he is a Newcastle fan. There aren't many Newcastle fans in Bermuda but he happens to be one of them, so I know he's over the moon with that result.

People were questioning some of the players Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, brought in but it is paying dividends now. People have to realise it takes a while to settle into the English league because the pace is so frantic. A lot of those players from the continent can definitely play.

Norwich moved out of the bottom three and ahead of West Ham in the standings with their win but as I said last week it is still early days yet and in the last couple of seasons the relegation fight has been as exciting as the league race. I think both races will go down to the wire again.

Who would have given Sunderland that result last week over Manchester City? Not many, but they were brave enough and forceful enough to go out there and get a result. They deserved it, too.

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Published November 16, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm)

Panel’s penalty review isn’t the way to go

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