Straight red for tangled laces

[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Two players got their cleats entangled on Saturday in the Netherlands and the referee showed one a straight red card for his chosen method of getting unstuck.

This game in the Dutch Eredivisie finished 2-2, and it was 1-1 in the 48th minute when Sanharib Melki, in black wearing the captain’s armband for Roda JC, came in late on the sideline for two straight 50-50 balls, the second of which got him tied up with with Mike van Duinen of ADO Den Haag.

Melki might not have chosen the best location for his next course of action --- awkwardly yanking himself free while simultaneously dumping van Duinen on his backside --- as he was right in front of the ADO bench. Several ADO players immediately surround the Syrian striker, as the referee served up some swift justice, showing him a straight red.

Does this red seem a bit harsh? Or perhaps the combination of player pressure, and a home game for ADO ...

5 comments about "Straight red for tangled laces".
  1. Kent James, February 1, 2013 at 8:24 a.m.

    Oops. The reactions of the players around certainly seemed like something untoward had happened, but this raises the issue (for referees), is it better to mistakenly send someone off for something that was not a red card offense, or let someone get away with a red card offense that you didn't see? You can't always be right, so on which side should one err? With yellow cards, I'm more inclined to give them in unclear situations (since an unearned yellow card won't hurt anything as long as the player behaves), but for a red card (or 2nd yellow), unless I (or an AR) see it clearly, I would not send someone off unless I was sure they deserved it.

  2. Karen Lehman, February 1, 2013 at 9:42 a.m.

    Ridiculous red card. What the hell could his "intent" have been? what human being wouldn't try to shake your foot free. That the other player fell is not malicious or harmful, it was purely accidental. That would barely qualify for a yellow for unsportsman like conduct if you were to stretch and say the player should have ignored the action on the field to stop and investigate what was wrong and then perhaps lend a hand so the other player wouldn't fall - simply ridiculous!

  3. Amos Annan, February 1, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.

    NEVER issue a red, unless you are certain.
    That should always be the rule. It is the harshest punishment in all sports.

  4. Ronnie j Salvador, February 1, 2013 at 6:41 p.m.

    'Intent' isn't in the rule book. But yes, the red card was a mistake. Maybe overturned on appeal? Center ref looked to be shielded; AR likely had a good view.

  5. F B, February 2, 2013 at 12:58 a.m.

    Red is excessive. Yellow adequate for reckless behavior, not to mention disdainful, latter also not in the rules. I'm more concerned about risk of knee ligament injury, than a bruised rump/ego for the felled player. Ref probably over-reacted most to the offender's attitude than the offense itself.

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