Sunday 18 March 2018

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri could appeal Jamie Vardy's red card

Claudio Ranieri, left, was livid with referee Craig Pawson
Claudio Ranieri, left, was livid with referee Craig Pawson

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri will consider appealing the red card awarded to Jamie Vardy in the thrilling 2-2 draw with Stoke.

Referee Craig Pawson dismissed Vardy in the 28th minute for a challenge on Mame Diouf where the England international, jostling with Glen Johnson, left the ground with both feet before returning to the turf by the time he won the ball.

It was a contentious call from Pawson, particularly after he had only booked Manchester United's Marcos Rojo for a clear two-footed lunge on Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha three days earlier, and he furthered enraged the Foxes players by giving Stoke a penalty for handball against Danny Simpson, when his arm was above his head as he slid in to stop Bojan Krkic's cross.

Bojan converted the 39th-minute spot-kick and Simpson was booked, the first of five Leicester players to be cautioned prior to the break, which Stoke entered 2-0 ahead thanks to a second from Joe Allen.

The normally mild-mannered Ranieri was livid at that point and had to be dragged away from Pawson by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, yet his side banded together in the face of adversity and picked up just their second away point of the season thanks to second-half strikes from Leonardo Ulloa and Daniel Amartey.

With Vardy now set to miss games against Everton, West Ham and Middlesbrough, Ranieri was asked if he would consider appealing against his suspension.

"I don't know, let me think, if it is possible, yes," he replied. "He wants to challenge and get the ball, not make a foul.

"If you listen to me I say, 'No' (it was not a red card), if you listen to (Stoke manager) Mark Hughes, he says, 'Yes'. But the decision is the referee and he says it's a red card. There was a big challenge between Johnson and Vardy. He touched the ball. Maybe it was yellow."

That was not the viewpoint of Potters boss Mark Hughes, though.

"People are trying to say he was pushed and that is why he jumped in with two feet off the ground," the Welshman said.

"It looked to me like there were two feet off the ground and out of control. There were a couple of incidents where players have done similar and got away with a yellow card and it was deemed wrong."

It is not often Ranieri is riled to such an extent that he remonstrates with a referee and Pawson and his officiating team needed to be escorted by stewards, who were pictured shielding themselves as they moved near to the visiting supporters and down the tunnel.

Ranieri, who was just ahead of Pawson and Co, said he did not witness any coins being thrown and when asked why he was even on the pitch, he stated: "I just wanted to show to our fans I was there."

Pawson's decision ensured he will be under the microscope again and former referee Howard Webb suggested on BT Sport on Saturday afternoon that he should be taken off the New Year's Eve clash between Liverpool and Manchester City.

And even the extraordinary events in the second half here will not prevent the scrutiny on the man in the middle.

"The match changed when Jamie got sent off," Ranieri added.

"We were so nervous and then after penalty we lost our calm, our shape, everything. In the dressing room we started to think what was best for the match and they showed a very fantastic performance."

Press Association

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