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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Cisse red card rescinded
Aliou Cisse gets his marching orders from referee Mike Riley
Cisse gets his marching orders from Riley
Birmingham's Aliou Cisse has had his sending off against Arsenal on Sunday rescinded by referee Mike Riley.

Cisse was red carded for a second bookable offence following an incident involving Arsenal defender Ashley Cole.

But, after looking at video evidence, Riley has decided midfielder Cisse did not warrant the second yellow card which resulted in his dismissal.

Television replays appeared to show little contact was made between Senegal international Cisse and Cole.


I think the most positive thing is that a referee has had the good grace to admit he was slightly duped
Birmingham chairman David Gold

Cole was accused in some quarters of knowingly getting players sent off, a claim the Gunners defender denied on Monday.

"Following the Arsenal versus Birmingham match on Sunday, match referee Mike Riley has reviewed the sending off of Aliou Cisse," said a statement on the Football Association website.

"He has decided that the tackle was careless and warranted a free-kick rather than reckless which he thought at the time and has asked that the second caution should not be issued.

"Therefore it has been agreed that the player will have a caution recorded against him for the first offence and will not have to serve a one-match suspension."

Birmingham chairman David Gold welcomed the decision and said: "I am delighted the referee has changed his mind.

"I think the most positive thing is that a referee has had the good grace to admit he was slightly duped.

"We need all the players available that we can get, particularly with the problem of (transfer) windows.

"Television clearly showed that there was no contact at all."

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