Why Connor Jennings’ yellow card is invalid and should be rescinded

Connor Jennings playing for Grimsby Town.

Image taken from the Grimsby Telegraph.

I’d love to move on from that shambles of a refereeing performance at Macclesfield on Saturday and concentrate on the match against Hereford on Tuesday night, but I feel I can’t do that until I’ve made one final point about one of the (numerous) terrible decisions made by Darren England – chiefly the booking of Grimsby Town’s loan striker Connor Jennings for ‘simulation’.

Now, we all pretty much accept that it was a penalty and not a dive – the Macclesfield player involved has said as much, everyone in the ground saw as much. The only person who saw it as anything else was, unfortunately for the Mariners, the man in the middle that mattered the most. He adjudged that Jennings deliberately threw himself to the ground in order to gain an advantage and therefore showed him a yellow card.

Due to it not being a dive at all – and therefore not a yellow card – some fans have been asking about yellow cards being overturned. Well, that simply doesn’t happen. I’ve not done my research but it seems that only in the case of mistaken identity can you do such a thing. We could end the conversation here, but that’s no fun (and I don’t get to make my really interesting point).

Which is this: According to the Grimsby Telegraph, Jennings said he only realised he was booked for simulation at the end of the game; he had no idea at the time because the referee only brandished the yellow card when he was on the floor looking the other way. Those of you who have access to the match highlights might want to go back and watch them to see what I mean.

Surely the very least you’d expect a referee to do when cautioning a player is to make that player aware that he has been cautioned, otherwise you have someone running around for the rest of the game unaware that he’s just one rash challenge away from being sent off. He has no chance to adapt his game.

Of course, this is probably a case of sour grapes. No one at the club can do anything about the result now, but I believe – and I’m suggesting – that Jennings’ yellow card at Macclesfield is invalid. The referee (not surprisingly, given his general performance) failed to notify the player properly that he had been booked. And I reckon the video footage backs this point up.

It’s a bit like doing someone for speeding, and then not sending them a ticket to tell them that they’d been speeding – but still expecting them to pay the fine. It’s a technicality, and one I think is worth exploring. If not to rectify some terrible decisions, then to attain some form of shallow moral victory (and a sense of justice).

It’d be really interesting to see what Grimsby Town Football Club thinks of this view, and whether it’s worth their time looking into it further. And it’d be equally as interesting to see what would happen if they made a formal enquiry about the yellow card being rescinded.

Have there been any other similar incidents where yellow cards have been rescinded because of a technicality?


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