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October 24, 2009

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More trouble for the extra ref

ONE of the additional referees helping the main official at Europa League games almost got the wrong player sent off in Fulham's 1-1 draw with AS Roma on Thursday.

Extra refs are stationed at either end of the field to give the man with the whistle additional eyes and to help with close and contentious decisions.

When Belgian referee Paul Allaerts awarded Roma a penalty in the 78th minute after John Arne Riise went down under a challenge, he asked the extra official who made the foul.

Although it was clearly Stephen Kelly who brought Riise down from behind, the extra official pointed to Brede Hangeland, who was shown the red card. Eventually the Fulham players put the officials right -- Kelly went off and Hangeland stayed on.

"He showed the red card to me. I was close to the situation but I didn't touch him," Hangeland said. "I just said 'It wasn't me.' The referee asked 'Who was it?' and no one volunteered."

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was unhappy with the decisions.

"I've got my grave doubts as to whether it was a penalty, but they get given in those situations when a player drives into the box," he said. "They (extra officials) got the wrong player with the red card but they should be making it clear that you can't give that as a last-man foul when someone (Hangeland) is coming across to cover."


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