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Referee assessor backs Atkinson after Burnley debacle

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Were you expecting the FA to triple down on stupid? Of course you were. Despite the opinions of a downright gaggle of retired referees that Martin Atkinson had a shocker on Saturday -- what with two missed penalties and a red card switcharoo -- the current referee's assessor has claimed that Atkinson's performance was entirely error-free.

While there were some contentious decisions during the match (I don't necessarily think there was a sending off in minute 30, and xenophobes will be more than happy to claim that Diego Costa dived after contact by Jason Shackell in minute 43), two incidents in particular don't seem to allow much room for interpretation. Michael Kightly handled a shot from Branislav Ivanovic, and Ashley Barnes committed a red card offence on Nemanja Matic.

But hey, let's see what Pravda have to say:

32': Potential penalty decision-Handball against Kightly, not given. In my opinion, a correct decision as ball hit with pace from close range and didn'’t see it as deliberate.


69': Challenge by Barnes on Matic, nothing given – for me correct. In super slow mo it obviously looks awful, but in real time live and dvd Barnes catches him as follow through from the challenge. (Does Barnes mean to harm him?-only he knows) Also, looks worse because Matic has his foot planted


A long time ago: The planet of Alderaan was blown up in fiendish rebel plot to overflow rightful government of the galaxy.

Ok, I made that one up.

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