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Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2005, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Jenas card downgraded to yellow
Jermaine Jenas' challenge on Gilberto Silva
Jermaine Jenas' red card in Newcastle's 2-0 loss at Arsenal has been downgraded to a yellow by referee Steve Bennett.

Jenas faced a three-game ban after his challenge on Gilberto Silva but he will not now be suspended.

"Steve Bennett has been in touch via letter to apologise for his error of judgement during Sunday's game," said a statement on the club website.

"He has requested that the Football Association downgrade the dismissal and this has been confirmed by the FA."

An FA statement confirmed Bennett's request.

"Having reviewed a video of the incident, match referee Steve Bennett requested that the red card be downgraded to a yellow card," it said.

"In accordance with FA rules, the matter was considered by a Disciplinary Commission which confirmed the decision. Jenas will therefore not serve any suspension."

Newcastle manager Graeme Souness welcomed the end result.

He said: "Fair play to the referee for having another look at the incident and making this decision. We have to be happy that he has made it.

"I said after the game that it was never a sending-off offence. There was no doubt in my mind that the tackle from JJ didn't deserve a red card."

Souness was initially so upset about the decision that after the game, he banned anyone from the club from talking to the media.

But when he broke his silence, Souness said he was at fault, not the player.

"I blame myself, to be honest," he said.

"About 10 seconds before the sending-off, I was standing on the touchline shouting to Jermaine to be stronger in the tackle.

"He was strong in the tackle, and that happens to him. He is very down about it, and he has every right to be because it was a wrong decision."

Souness has admitted Jenas has been unsettled at the club, and if his suspension had stood, it could have been his final act as a Newcastle player as he would have been banned until after the transfer window closes.

Arsene Wenger has denied he is interested in signing Jenas for Arsenal, but Tottenham have also been strongly linked with a swoop for the former Nottingham Forest player.


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