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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
FA keeps faith in referee Styles
Rob Styles
Matches: 22
Red cards: 7
Yellow cards: 59
The Football Association insists it has no qualms about the ability of Rob Styles to referee the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester United.

Styles came under fire from Fulham boss Chris Coleman for giving Middlesbrough a debateable late penalty on Tuesday.

He was also the official who awarded Crystal Palace's Andy Johnson a crucial spot-kick against Norwich on Saturday.

"Rob Styles is a leading referee with a wealth of experience. That is why he's been appointed," said an FA spokesman.

Coleman had to be restrained as he attempted to confront Styles after Boro's late goal saw the match end 1-1.

"I walked on to the pitch - I should not have done that - and I got held back by a few people, so I never really got a chance to say what I wanted to say to him really, or his assistant," said Coleman.

"I am glad I was because in the heat of the moment, there is a lot of emotion involved, maybe I would have said things I would have regretted afterwards, but I was restrained."

Styles has been the focus of criticism from certain managers in the past and he is expected to face a tough assignment in taking control of the FA Cup final.

United and Arsenal are famed for having temperamental and controversial meetings with the alleged food-throwing incident coming after the Gunners had their unbeaten league record ended by a 2-0 defeat at old Trafford.

And Styles incurred the wrath of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson last May when he sent off Cristiano Ronaldo and Darren Fletcher in a Premiership match against Aston Villa.

Sir Bobby Robson was also left incensed by a Styles decision when he was in charge at Newcastle. Robson saw Birmingham snatch a draw from a free-kick he felt should have been awarded to his side.

But earlier this season, Styles did actually rescind a yellow card when he changed his mind for booking Chelsea striker Didier Drogba for diving after reviewing video evidence.

Is Rob Styles the best man to referee the FA Cup final?
4451 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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