He has my sympathy, but gaffe ref Russell will face ban
22:34 GMT, 30 December 2012
Referee Mick Russell will be feeling empty and confused not just all day today but throughout the week after his error in the Huddersfield v Sheffield Wednesday game, when he failed to send off a player despite booking him twice.
I have both empathy and sympathy for him having suffered similarly, albeit on a bigger stage.
People who do not officiate, and even some that do, cannot understand how such a basic error of not recording the correct number of a player that you caution can occur.
Howler: Referee Mike Russell gave Jeremy Helan a second yellow card in Sheffield Wednesday's game at Huddersfield, but didn't send him off
Russell knows exactly how badly I had been affected in the summer of 2006 when doing exactly that at the World Cup in Germany.
Incredibly, he was the fourth official on my very first game after my faux pas. He provided me with great support throughout that day and we discussed at length how such an error could be made. Despite that, Russell now finds himself having done the same.
He recorded a caution for Sheffield Wednesday’s No 7 Michail Antonio for diving in the ninth minute, not No 24 Jeremy Helan, who is on loan from Manchester City. In the 24th minute, Helan brought down Huddersfield winger Adam Hammill and it was a clear yellow-card offence.
Getting it wrong: Josip Simunic is shown a second yellow card by Graham Poll but not sent off. The mistake is later rectified (below)
Russell has said since he clearly recorded the wrong number at the first caution and so is taking full responsibility. However, in the fullness of time he will reflect and wonder what happened to his two assistants and fourth official, who record all instances of misconduct.
Russell will now be written to by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd and the FA for his explanation of events and as he has already admitted his culpability a charge will follow.
Since he is clearly guilty of failing to apply the law —sending off a player after giving him a second yellow card — he will probably be suspended for at least three matches.