Now I’m not a referee so I need a helping hand with this one. As many of you will have seen either live on ESPN or on Match of the Day this evening there was an incident involving Gervinho and Joey Barton in the Newcastle United v Arsenal game.
Gervinho went down in the box mid-way through the first half. Most people thought it was a dive but referee Peter Walton decided that it wasn’t and allowed play to continue with no advantage signaled. This seems pretty crucial. Next Joey Barton grabs Gervinho by the scruff of the neck and drags up him to his feet. At this point there is a meleé and Gervinho slaps Joey Barton and he goes down as though Mike Tyson had right hooked him. It was blatant play acting by Joey Barton but what would you expect?
Gervinho though raised his arms and was rightly sent off and Joey Barton was booked for his role in the incident. However Joey Barton couldn’t have been booked for simulation as if the referee thought that then he wouldn’t have shown Gervinho the red card. So Joey Barton was booked for instigating the incident and dragging Gervinho up to his feet by the scruff of the neck.
Now that incident happened before Gervinho slapped Barton and with the referee not signalling advantage after the alleged dive of Gervinho then surely the first incident that he has blown for is Joey Barton’s yellow card offence on Gervinho then shouldn’t it have been a penalty to Arsenal and not a free kick to Newcastle? Surely the first incident is deemed the foul.
I may be totally wrong but that is how I read the laws of the game and with Peter Walton never indicating that he saw the tackle on Gervinho/dive by Gervinho as not worthy of a foul by never showing that he was playing advantage, then surely Barton’s yellow card offence on Gervinho was during open play and happened in his own penalty area and therefore he should have pointed to the spot?
To be fair to the referee he had a shocker all day long by not sending off Alex Song for a pathetic stamp on Joey Barton but two wrongs does not make a right my friends.
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