Alan Biggs at Large: Big name referees split over Sheffield footballer’s five-year ban

Jordan Turner is congratulated after his fine run led to Tom Roebuck scoring the second goal for Royal Earl vs Jack-In-A-Box
Jordan Turner is congratulated after his fine run led to Tom Roebuck scoring the second goal for Royal Earl vs Jack-In-A-Box
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Jordan Turner is a Sheffield pub player rightly banned from playing. And for a long time, which is also correct. But five years? For grabbing hold of a referee’s cards and

chucking them?

An actual assault and I’d be inclined to agree. But all that happened here was an accidental paper cut to the nose of referee John Reeves in a match between Turner’s Handsworth Turf Tavern and the Devonshire Arms of Dore.

How this squares with Luis Suarez’s four-month ban for biting and Paolo Di Canio’s eight matches for his infamous shove on referee Paul Alcock is beyond me.

The best defence of the FA’s action on Turner is made by Sheffield’s former referees’ chief Keith Hackett who insists it is necessary to protect officials exposed to violence and abuse on isolated parks pitches.

But another top refereeing figure, Mark Halsey, insists 15 months would be a lot more proportionate than five years.

Watch Hackett and Halsey argue the case on you-are-the-ref.com in association with thestar.co.uk.