Calvert-Lewin red card a ‘clear and obvious error’

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Written By Maya Cantina

The officials made a “clear and obvious error” when they sent off Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin in an FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace, an independent regulatory commission said.

Calvert-Lewin, 26, was shown a red card for a tackle on Nathaniel Clyne during the third round tie on 4 January.

He was facing a three-game ban but the decision was overturned on appeal..

The commission unanimously agreed the tackle did not constitute serious foul play.

Explaining its decision, published on the Football Association (FA) website, the commission said the tackle “lacked force, speed and intensity, and didn’t endanger the safety of the opponent”, meaning it did not meet the threshold required for a red card.

“After considering the guidance offered by the referee advisory panel in relation to the laws of the game, the commission were unanimous in deciding the player didn’t commit an act of serious foul play and that the referee had made a clear and obvious error,” it added.

Why was Calvert-Lewin was sent off?

In the 79th minute, Calvert-Lewin slid along the ground to win the ball and keep possession, catching Clyne on the shin with his studs as the Palace defender also went for the ball.

Referee Chris Kavanagh did not give a foul and initially allowed play to continue, but he was advised by video assistant referee (VAR) Michael Salisbury to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.

After viewing the incident, Kavanagh showed Calvert-Lewin a straight red card for serious foul play, which triggers a three-match suspension.

Everton appealed against the decision the following day and the dismissal was overturned by the FA on 9 January.

What was said at the commission hearing?

In its written submission to the commission, Everton said Calvert-Lewin’s tackle “exhibited a high degree of control”, was not “reckless or forceful” and that the striker “remained in control at all times”.

The Toffees argued it did not meet any of the criteria to be deemed a red card serious foul play because he was not lunging with both legs, using excessive force or endangering the safety of an opponent.

The three-man commission agreed with Everton’s assessment, saying the challenge was “at most reckless” and not the “high + full + forceful contact” necessary for a red card.

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