Players, show respect to your opponents | Keith Hackett

Players, show respect to your opponents | Keith Hackett

Graham Scott, still in that rookie class in the eyes of the PGMOL, receives my praise today for dealing in the correct manner with the brutal challenge of Watford defender Miguel Britos. The Brighton player on the receiving end was lucky to escape without serious injury.

Season to date we are continuing to witness players leaving the ground with one or both feet forward and making a lunge towards an opponent. When players leave the ground in this manner they are out of control. Therefore the challenge fulfils the criteria for reckless.

To leave the ground feet first you have to do this at speed in order to have the momentum to get your body into this position. You are therefore fulfilling the criteria of excessive force. These types of challenges are, in the majority of cases, putting your opponent at risk of injury. Again, in this case you have fulfilled the criteria of endangering the safety of an opponent. Therefore a reckless challenge with excessive force that endangers the safety of an opponent is a red card offence

Graham was ideally placed to see the brutal challenge by Britos and issued the appropriate red card. Well done Mr Scott. Players cannot use the ball as an excuse and in the past players have received a red card even though no contact was made with the opponent. Cristiano Ronaldo comes to mind when playing for Manchester United some years ago.

So once again I repeat my plea for players at all levels to have a duty of care towards an opposing player and stop these types of red card challenges. We want skill to succeed over brutal acts of this nature which have no place in our great game.