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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 21:33 GMT 22:33 UK
Ref reviews Stefanovic card
Referee Alan Wiley
Wiley still backs his decision to award a penalty
The referee who booked Portsmouth's Dejan Stefanovic for bringing down Robert Pires in last weekend's controversial penalty incident at Highbury is to ask for the card to be taken away.

Alan Wiley decided to write to the Football Association after viewing video footage of the incident.

But it is understood that his letter makes it clear he still believes it was the correct decision to award a penalty.

Pires was accused of diving to win the penalty, which Thierry Henry converted to earn Arsenal a 1-1 draw.

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp later described the decision as "embarrassing" and has welcomed Wiley's decision to ask for the booking to be taken away from Stefanovic.

The Portsmouth boss told the Evening Standard: "I am glad the referee's done something about it.

"He's made a mistake but it seems he's done something off his own back to admit he got it wrong by booking Stefanovic."

Wenger backing

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie continued to claim that Wiley made a mistake in awarding the penalty and insisted that he had been "conned" by Pires.

The FA confirmed it has not yet received Wiley's letter, although it is understood to be on its way to their Soho Square headquarters.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has continued to defend Pires.

Wenger said: "I would not back my players in any circumstances but this time I have the choice to believe Robert or go with the supposed majority opinion - and I stick with Robert."

Although Stefanovic cannot actually appeal against his booking, referees are able to voluntarily rescind cautions after reviewing video evidence of a game.



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