Top ref ignites fans fury over red card cheats

February 9th, 2009 - 6:28 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 9 (ANI): The allegation by a top referee that football players purposely earn red cards on the field, so they can miss games and go on a holiday, have left fans of the game furious.

Ref Steve Bennett claimed that a top international asked to be booked so he could get suspended and go on holiday with his family.

Bennett, who refereed the 2007 FA Cup final, is alleged to have said, As a fan, they f*****g rip you off. You dont know half the things that go on. If they knew that, youd be absolutely gutted, trust me.

He said that one star said, I aint, I dont want to play against f*****g XXXXXX.

The player, who has pocketed millions in transfer fees, then launched himself into a crude tackle, forcing Bennett to give him a yellow card.
The player then missed the match he did not want to play in.

According to a report in the Daily Star, the claims were reportedly made at the bar during a UEFA convention for referees in Spain. Bennett also said that foreign players were more likely to try to get themselves booked.

He said that overseas stars are used to a winter break of four weeks, so they try to wangle a lay-off.

Football fans are furious after getting to know about the scandalous claims made by the ref, and they want a top-level FA probe into the allegations.

The Premier League has already vowed to investigate and Malcolm Clarke, head of the Football Supporters Federation, urged the FA to act as well.

Nobody makes anyone accept a contract with the Premier League. In this country, we play games over the Christmas period and thats the way it is. If you dont like it, then dont sign, he said.

According to a spokesman for the Premier League, which has been sent recordings of Bennetts claims, Those comments do not reflect the opinion of the PGMO (Premier Game Match Officials) and as such we will be asking Steve Bennett for an explanation. (ANI)

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