Everybody remembers the Paolo Di Canio and Paul Alcock incident from 1998 – when the Sheffield Wednesday striker was sent off for pushing the referee to the floor in a famous win over Arsenal.
Last night in the MLS, New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones came dangerously close to doing a Di Canio, manhandling referee Mark Geiger after a late penalty decision went against his team.
Jones was incensed that Geiger had not awarded New England a stoppage-time spot kick for apparent handball by Sean Franklin in a 2-1 loss to DC United in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
But there is no excuse for the 33-year-old’s reaction, particularly considering that he is New England’s Designated Player and a United States international of 54 caps. He should be setting a better example.
Jones was shown a second yellow card for his actions, but may find himself in deeper trouble. He apologised after the game, although he stood by his belief that the official had got the decision wrong.
He is quoted by mlssoccer.com as saying: “I apologize for the situation and what I did after. I apologize, for a national-team player and all that kind of stuff, it cannot happen, and I’m sorry for that.
“But, who knows me knows that I hate to lose and I would not go crazy if I’m not 100 percent sure that’s a penalty. From man to man, to Geiger, I would say I’m sorry for what happened, and it won’t happen again.”
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