FA should let bosses have their say

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

RAFAEL BEN­ITEZ, the Liver­pool man­ager, did not at­tack the ref­eree af­ter his team lost to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur. At­tack is news­pa­per short-hand for a ro­bust an­swer to a le­git­i­mate ques­tion. “So and so launched a fu­ri­ous at­tack on such and such…” we read the next day. The prob­lem is it makes men seem an­grier than they are.

On that af­ter­noon, Ben­itez was crit­i­cal of the match of­fi­cial Phil Dowd, who he thought had made sig­nif­i­cant er­rors, mainly to the dis­ad­van­tage of Liver­pool. Ben­itez was wrong. Not wrong to say what he did, but, quite lit­er­ally, wrong. Benoit Assou-Ekoto, the Tot­ten­ham full-back, ap­peared to use his weight lean­ing in against An­driy Voronin, as de­fend­ers do, and did not trip him, and for the hand­ball claim he had his arm across his body, rather than hang­ing out, in a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt to avoid com­mit­ting an of­fence. How­ever, Sammy Lee, the Liver­pool as­sis­tant man­ager, was sent off for protest­ing and as the press box at White Hart Lane is sit­u­ated di­rectly be­hind the op­po­si­tion bench we could see Liver­pool’s coach­ing staff were fu­ri­ous.

So Ben­itez did not at­tack Dowd by rant­ing and rag­ing, or even by vol­un­teer­ing the in­for­ma­tion. He was asked about Dowd’s per­for­mance be­cause it was clearly an is­sue and per­formed an amus­ing lit­tle mime in which he re­moved his glasses from an in­side jacket pocket. He also said, quite calmly, that Liver­pool hav­ing al­ready been given one penalty — a le­git­i­mate one, in fact — he doubted whether a ref­eree would be brave enough to give a sec­ond.

This week, Ben­itez was warned

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