Referee faces probe for failing to dismiss Wednesday player

LONDON Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:18pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Match official Mick Russell will be investigated by the referees' body for failing to send off Sheffield Wednesday's Jeremy Helan in Saturday's English Championship (second division) match at Huddersfield Town.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said Russell, who has admitted making an error, had stopped play after eight minutes to penalise Helan for simulation inside Huddersfield's area but booked Michail Antonio instead.

"At this point the referee recorded the name and number of Antonio in his notebook and advised the fourth official over the communication system that Antonio No 7 had been cautioned," the PGMOL said in a statement.

"In the 26th minute Helan (No 24) was cautioned following a foul challenge. As the referee had not previously recorded his name he did not issue a red card for receiving a second caution in the same game.

"The official has subsequently admitted making a genuine error and PGMOL and the FA need to determine why this arose and what sanction, if any, should be administered to the match officials," added the PGMOL.

Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson said the error was "staggering" but did not think there were any grounds for the match, which finished 0-0, being replayed.

"As we came off the pitch at halftime he (Russell) came to me to apologise for the error he made," Grayson told Sky Sports.

"I think he's probably written the wrong number down in his book, which is staggering.

"I also think he should have been helped by his officials, who should be overruling because they all know, when a referee makes a mistake like that, who he's booking.

"The linesman should be helping out. He's not done it deliberately, but you can't make major mistakes like that.

"He's put (Michail) Antonio's number in his book, but he was nowhere near the incident.

"I don't mind referees making big mistakes in terms of tackles and sendings off, but something quite simple like that shouldn't be happening in Championship football."

Asked if Huddersfield could ask for the match to be replayed Grayson added: "I'm not sure about that. No-one has said anything like that. I'd be very surprised."

"I would have felt aggrieved if he (Helan) had gone on to play a part, or score a goal for them. If we had played against ten men for an hour of the game we would have had a better chance of gaining a victory," he added on the club's website.

(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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