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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lampard avoids red card ban

Surprisingly, Chelsea player Frank Lampard avoided Tuesday a three-game ban. Indeed, the Football Association (FA) overturned the red card the England international received when he was sent-off in the 4-0 victory away to West Ham last weekend.

The talented yet polemic Lampard, who'd opened the scoring against his old club at Upton Park, was sent-off following a clash with Luis Boa Morte.

However, referee Peter Walton told an FA regulatory commission he and his assistant made a mistake.

that's why the commission had to decide if the officials had made a "serious and obvious" error in dismissing the 29-year-old. The same commission also had to take into account the UEFA guideline that while endangering an opponent warrants a red card, contact on or above the neck is deemed to be violent conduct.

So, Lampard's reprieve allows him to play against Barnsley in the FA Cup and the Premier League games against Derby and Sunderland.

In fact, by appealing Chelsea risked Lampard's ban being extended to four games had the verdict gone against the Stamford Bridge club.

We must remember that the same situation happened to Middlesbrough's Jeremie Aliadiere last week when a disciplinary panel rejected what they said was a "frivolous" appeal against a red card.

But correct Tuesday's ruling may be under the rules, it is bound to fuel the suspicion expressed by Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb that there is one rule for 'big' clubs such as Chelsea FC and another for the rest of the teams.

By the way, Chelsea's next match sees them up against Olympiakos in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

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