It seemed a pretty innocuous challenge on Saturday afternoon, with Mido challenging for the ball and catching Arsenal’s Gael Clichy in the face with his boot. However, the referee had no hesitation in sending off the Egyptian striker and you might have expected his club to appeal against this dismissal. The Daily Telegraph reports otherwise.
“Having spoken to the referee’s chief and to the referee himself, their feeling is that the decision wouldn’t be altered,” Southgate said.
“Whether or not there is intent is no longer considered, it’s about whether a challenge puts the opponent in danger.
“At no time has anybody suggested Mido intended to do what he did, but unfortunately it is perceived a dangerous play because he caught the lad.
“We’re not very happy about it but I can see why the referee has sent the lad off under those rules. But a three-match ban is very harsh.”
Indeed, it doesn’t seem fair on the north-east club, who are undoubtedly wary of appealing after Jeremie Aliadiere’s three-match ban was increased to four after Boro’s recent appeal was deemed frivolous by the authorities. All of a sudden, footballers are being asked to pay a lot more attention to where they put their feet, even at the expense of taking their eye off the ball.