Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has clarified why Aleksandar Mitrovic was given a red card following his push against an official. He also explained the reason Bruno Fernandes escaped punishment for similar reasons.
Fulham forward Mitrovic was handed straight red by Chris Kavanagh during his team’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Sunday.
It was reported that the Serbian striker was not happy with Willian’s red-card for an offside handball and was sent off by the official for his violent reaction. This was an unforgiving couple of seconds for Fulham.
However, many fans wer
e furious about the apparent “double standards” of officials following the incident in which Fernandes seemed to push an assistant referee in the United’s 7-0 loss at Liverpool.
“I told you in the moment that I did not approve of the things that Fernandes did. I don’t believe it’s sensible to interfere with an official in a game,” Gallagher said on Sky Sports News.
ABSOLUTE SCENES AT OLD TRAFFORD!! 😳
Tempers are flaring as Fulham go from 1-0 up to conceding a penalty and going down to 9-men… 🤯#ITVFootball | @EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/6vWTYNgRGT
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) March 19, 2023
“However I don’t think this is a threatening act. It’s a bit petty from Fernandes and he could easily received an yellow card for it. It would have been accepted by the public.
“But I don’t believe there’s any doubt that the Fernandes incident qualifies as a red card offense however, it is the Mitrovic instance is.
“I believe that no player could have considered that Fernandes incident with the thought “oh this gives me permission to do this’. I don’t think that’s the case even for a second. Both are completely separated situations. The players should not be doing what he did However, one was a bit far.
Aleksandar Mitrović 🆚 Bruno Fernandes
Dermot Gallagher discusses the difference between Aleksandar Mitrović touching Chris Kavanagh and Bruno Fernandes touching the linesman against Liverpool. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Zmq0hYie3t
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 20, 2023
“We talked this day regarding Bruno Fernandes when I was of the view that it was not an offence that could be considered a red card however, I did mention that I do not condone touching an official. However, in this particular instance I would say it’s more than that. He’s gotten grip on the ref and resisted him.
“I believe Chris Kavanagh has done an outstanding job as a referee and for himself all over the world because he stayed cool.
“He did not react to it or get caught up in the story. He was calm and I am very proud of his courage. He stood in the direction of what referees should stand for.”
Concerning the punishment Mitrovic will receive due to the incident, which could be longer than the normal three games three matches Gallagher declared “that’s not for me to decide”. The decision rests with the FA.