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Monday, 7 January, 2002, 13:59 GMT
Smith red card appeal
Leeds players interrogate Cardiff defender after Alan Smith is sent off
The sending off incensed Leeds players
Leeds have revealed they are to appeal against Alan Smith's sending off against Cardiff in Sunday's FA Cup third round 2-1 defeat at Ninian Park.

Smith, who was sent off in November for an elbow on Aston Villa defender Alpay, was given his marching orders while fending off Andy Legg.

Video replays showed the striker catching the 35-year-old Legg in the face with his forearm, the defender then holding his mouth as he fell to the ground.


The referees show no benefit of the doubt with him, they jump on him straight away
O'Leary on Alan Smith

Referee Andy D'Urso did not hesitate in issuing the red card, to the fury of O'Leary, who then remonstrated with fourth official Clive Wilkes on the touchline.

Leeds boss David O'Leary believes that Smith, who has now been sent off six times for Leeds, is a target for referees.

"Alan was harshly done by, disgracefully done by," O'Leary said.

"The referees show no benefit of the doubt with him, they jump on him straight away.

"There have been times when they have quite rightly sorted him out, but on other occasions he is a victim. To me they now have an agenda.

"There were tackles beforehand, one especially which nearly broke Rio Ferdinand's ankle, and tackles afterwards on Jonathan Woodgate and others that went unpunished.

"If Alan Smith had made them then I wonder if he would have received the same lenient treatment as the Cardiff offenders?"

O'Leary backed up his assessment by looking back to Leeds' last Premiership fixture.

"You only have to look at the game at West Ham the other night, when there were tackles by players and nothing happened, yet one challenge from Smith and he gets a yellow card straight away.


I believe there is an agenda with Alan Smith
David O'Leary

"I believe when they (referees) are enjoying their recreation on the sunbeds or swimming up and down a pool and talking together in their free time, there is an agenda with Alan Smith.

"They all have their little chats and jump on him very, very quickly. I'll keep an open opinion on whether they will change their mind on Alan Smith."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Matt Williams
"Smith was sent off for the sixth time in his career"
See also:

07 Jan 02 |  FA Cup
Cardiff willing to act
07 Jan 02 |  FA Cup
O'Leary renews Hammam attack
07 Jan 02 |  FA Cup
Legg will support Smith appeal
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