Rangers fan former referee accuses talkSPORT of 'ignorance', confirms Leon Balogun red card
Rangers fan and former Premier League referee Jeff Winter has accused ex-players of confusing fans with their “ignorance” of the laws of the game.
Leon Balogun was shown a straight red card in the 3-1 win at Motherwell on Saturday (23 April) for a studs up challenge on Dean Cornelius, but some felt it wasn’t worth a sending off because there was no intent.
Compounding the issue was the fact that referee Nick Walsh only showed a yellow to Juhani Ojala for a similar challenge on Scott Wright, although Richard Foster and Leanne Crichton agreed with both decisions on BBC Sportscene, and Winter singled out talkSPORT when suggesting ex-players don’t understand what they are talking about.
Responding to another fan on Twitter who felt the Gers defender didn’t deserve a red due to lack of intent, Winter wrote: “there doesn’t need to be intent !!! Trust me.”
After another supporter suggested intent was a subject that is often misused by pundits who don’t know the laws of the game Winter responded: “The words and ignorance of former players confuses and didn’t help the fans to understand what is correct . Travelling back from Motherwell I was listening to some of Talksport’s summarisers talk absolute b_____ks.”
Former players are often assumed to be experts simply from their time involved in the game.
But they don’t all know the minutiae of every element of the game, so it stands out when a pundit has actually done some research.
Having said that, with changing rules and different guidance in different regions, refereeing decisions are a minefield for confusion.
When individual official’s judgment comes into play it can be even harder.
No intent is often held up as a reason why transgressions shouldn’t be punished, but the majority of fouls aren’t deliberate infringements yet plenty are still dangerous or give an unfair advantage.
Fouls like Balogun’s where an attempt to win the ball goes wrong are no different from late tackles where the defender is just too slow, so he did probably deserve the red.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst will have been delighted, as Winter would, that it didn’t affect the final result, as the remaining 10 men stepped up admirably to round out the win.