Roy Hodgson: ‘ludicrous’ Christian Benteke red card decision ‘ruining the game of football’


Roy Hodgson believes ‘ludicrous’ red card decisions such as the sending-off of Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke are ‘ruining the game of football’.

Benteke was show two yellow cards for two similar challenges in the Eagles’ 1-1 draw with West Ham on Wednesday.

His first booking was for allegedly leading with his arm while he and Hammers defender Angelo Ogbonna jumped to win a header. The second was for accidentally catching Tomasz Soucek’s face with his hand.

The Belgian had put Palace ahead with a thumping header, but it was cancelled out by Sebastien Haller’s bicycle kick.

“I thought it was a ludicrous decision,” Hodgson said of referee David Coote producing the red card for Benteke midway through the second half.

“Because when people jump and challenge for the ball as he did in the first half, when he got a yellow card as well, he only tried to use his arm for leverage and try honestly win the ball.

“The fact the arm brushes across the face of the opponent, I feel like that’s always likely to happen if both players are making an honest attempt to win it.

“I’m just surprised, really, to be honest with you, that you have to sit here and state these things as if you are some monster who wants everything to go his way.

“I honestly believe that decisions like that sending off like that in games like the one we just played are ruining the game of football. That’s what I find.”

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