Ferdinand slams referee for 'absolute disgrace' of a penalty decision

Rio Ferdinand hammers referee for ‘ruining game’ with ‘absolute disgrace’ of a decision for second Chelsea penalty as Joe Cole laments: ‘It’s almost like Fifa and UEFA are trying to self-destruct’, after controversial handball

  • Tammy Abraham’s shot hit Dalbert’s foot and ricocheted onto the defender’s arm
  • The referee pointed to the spot after reviewing the decision and sent Dalbert off
  • Timo Werner tucked home his second penalty of the night as Chelsea won 3-0

Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole slammed the decision to award Chelsea their second penalty of the night as the Blues comfortably beat Rennes 3-0 in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard’s men were already 1-0 up against the French side after Timo Werner had converted from 12 yards having been fouled and the German, who had replaced Jorginho on penalty-taking duty, was given an opportunity to double his tally from the spot when a shot on the turn from Tammy Abraham ricocheted off Dalbert’s foot and hit the luckless defender’s hand. 

After consulting the pitchside monitor, referee Felix Zwayer awarded the decision and gave Dalbert a second yellow card for his part in the incident, which came after the Brazilian had already been booked for giving away the foul for the first penalty, with Werner making it 2-0.  

Dalbert is unable to get out of the way as the ball hits on the arm after Tammy Abraham’s shot

Rio Ferdinand was furious with the award and couldn’t see how Dalbert could get out the way

‘This is an absolute disgrace. The kid doesn’t intentionally block the ball with his hands. The referee goes over to the screen, deliberates and still gives it. It baffles me,’ Ferdinand fumed.  

‘It’s a joke. It’s that close that he’s only going to block the ball with his feet.

‘He ruined the game for me. I was absolutely flabbergasted. Then the red card topped it all off.’  

The former Manchester United defender said that stricter handball laws were universally unpopular across football. 

‘We’re fortunate to go to a few games and we get to speak to some of the players after the game and a lot of the time I’m asking these players: ”How are you dealing with these penalty decisions and the new rules that have come in?” There hasn’t been one player who has said: ”I’m totally fine with it.” They’re all confused. 

‘There are too many grey areas. A decision is made, the referee blows up, everyone’s in panic stations, heart rate’s going through the roof, because there’s so much uncertainty. I don’t think it’s great for the game. 

Rennes boss Julien Stephan comforts his Brazilian left-back as he trudges off after the red card

Timo Werner has taken over penalty duty from Jorginho and found the back of the net twice

‘All these rules are getting changed completely every year. The game was great before any of this came in. Why change something that was already great? We’re adding new, different rules that almost certainly create grey areas.’

Cole felt such decisions made it impossible for coaches to tell defenders how to do their job.  

‘How are you going to coach young defenders where to put your arms where you’re trying to defend because if you’re doing your job properly, you need to be athletic and stop it Where are your arms supposed to go?’ he asked. 

Joe Cole worried for the future of defending after yet another controversial handball decision

‘The shot is right next to the centre-half and the full-backs, so the ball could go anywhere. It took a deflection, which must to add to the frustration the Rennes players must be feeling. It’s definitely not a penalty.

‘It’s almost like Fifa and Uefa are trying to self-destruct. You’ve got this product that’s amazing, sells globally. All these rules that have come in, they’re trying to make it better, but sometimes you can’t improve on something that’s as good as football. 

‘Another thing that I hate is we didn’t even know there was a penalty decision until we saw it on the screen and we’re three ex-players going, ”What’s happened there?” Nothing’s wrong with that, so I think the secret might be to get players in and ask, ”What do they think?”’

The result was a formality once the visitors were a man down, with Reece James teeing up Tammy Abraham in the second half to secure the three points and keep Chelsea top of the group and they will progress to the knockout phase with two games to spare if they defeat Rennes at Roazhon Park on November 24 and Krasnodar fail to beat Sevilla. 

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