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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Bruce fumes at 'ridiculous' rules

Emmerson Boyce
Referee Andre Mariner later admitted he had erred on Boyce's dismissal

Wigan boss Steve Bruce has called for a change to "ridiculous" rules that stop players appealing against yellow cards.

Latics defender Emmerson Boyce was sent off at Newcastle for two bookings, the second for a foul on Shola Ameobi.

Replays showed that tackle to be fair but, despite referee Andre Mariner admitting his error, bookings cannot be rescinded under the laws of the game.

"I admire Andre for admitting his error but what good does it do us? The rules are ridiculous," said Bruce.

"Referees have a really difficult job and it's far too often that we are talking about them after games.

"When Emmerson was sent off we were comfortably in the lead and I honestly believe that we would have gone on to win the game. But instead we have to play the last 35 minutes with 10 men and now Boycey will also miss next week's game against Everton.

Boyce sending-off leaves Bruce fuming

"The biggest problem, and what I find most frustrating, is that we have no right to appeal."

The Football Association used to allow red and yellow cards to be downgraded or upgraded, but after the 2005-06 season they moved closer into line with Fifa regulations.

Now, the FA does not allow bookings to be challenged under any circumstances, while they will only overturn red cards if there has been a "serious and obvious mistake".

However, Bruce believes the time has come for such rules to change, while he also advocates the use of video technology.

"In the time it took for Boycey to be sent off a fourth official or someone in the stands could have watched the replay from different angles (as is done in the press boxes) and a judgment made from there and relayed to the referee," he said.

"I don't believe this takes any authority away from the referee - on the contrary, it empowers him to be confident that the correct decision has been made. Obviously I am only talking about major decisions: penalties, balls crossing the goal line and sending offs."

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see also
Alan Hansen's column
17 Nov 08 |  Football
Newcastle 2-2 Wigan
15 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Jenas card downgraded to yellow
15 Aug 05 |  Newcastle

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