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Sunday, December 27, 1998 Published at 15:48 GMT

Gregory demands video evidence

Oakes (left): Unfairly punished says his boss

Aston Villa manager John Gregory has called for video replays to be used in Premiership games following the controversial sending-off of his goalkeeper Michael Oakes in the side's 2-1 defeat at Blackburn.

John Gregory: "A monumental error"
Oakes was given his marching orders on Saturday after referee Dermot Gallagher, acting on advice from his assistant referee, decided that the keeper had deliberately handled the ball outside his area.

Some commentators said that a video replay, unavailable to the officials, suggested that Oakes had been treated harshly.

Gregory called the sending-off "an outrageous decision by the linesman".

He added: "Once he had put his flag up the referee had no choice other than to send Michael off but the linesman's made a monumental error and we've suffered because of it."

The match made a perfect case for introducing video replays to help in difficult refereeing decisions, he added.

"We've got the technology so why not do it?" he said.

Several managers have called for the move to video replays this season. Such technology has been used at various stages in American football, rugby league and in cricket.

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