Week 12 of the Barclays Premier League was full of controversial refereeing decisions. Baron Davis Jersey . From Wes Browns sending off for Sunderland to Kevin Mirallas yellow card for Everton in the Merseyside derby, it wasnt a comfortable weekend to be a referee. Whenever an incident happens on the field, every fan expects the referee to make the correct decision. Yet referees dont have the benefit of slow-motion instant replays, and have only their assistant referees with whom they can consult for input. Often times, the referees view of an incident is not ideal, and can be blocked by other players. Yet they are expected to get decisions correct every time. With the benefit of instant replays, it is often much easier to make those decisions. Should Wes Brown have been sent off for Sunderland? No. Should Kevin Mirallas have been red carded for his horrible tackle on Luis Suarez? Absolutely. What makes a referees job more difficult, though, is that the vast majority of fans (and even some professional players, coaches and analysts!) do not fully understand the laws of the game. Case in point: Arsenals penalty kick in their game against Southampton. After a Tomas Rosicky corner kick was delivered into Southamptons penalty area, referee Mark Clattenburg blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot. His reason was that Southampton defender Jose Fonte pulled the jersey of Arsenals Per Mertesacker. Replays showed that Fonte did indeed have a handful of Mertesackers jersey, that he impeded the German international from reaching the ball. Clattenburg was absolutely correct to award a penalty kick. Yet it didnt stop the inevitable outcry on Twitter. Fans voiced their opinions, which ranged from "Thats never a PK - referees always let that go!" to "The ball was behind Mertesacker - need to take that into account!" to "Glad to see a referee finally call that - happens all the time!" Regardless of your opinion as a fan of the beautiful game, the FIFA laws of the game are very clear on what constitutes a foul, and in particular, a direct free kick. Consider the following from FIFA: The following conditions must be met for an offence to be considered a foul:• it must be committed by a player• it must occur on the field of play• it must occur while the ball is in play Group of Four• tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball• holds an opponent• spits at an opponent• handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area) For this group of four direct free kicks fouls, the referee is concerned with whether the action occurred, not with how it was done. For fouls in this group of four, the FIFA laws of the game require the following action to be taken: • restart with a direct free kick for the opposing team where the offence occurred • exception: if the offence was committed by a defender inside his own penalty area• penalty kick for the attacking team The laws of the game are very clear. Pulling a jersey (holding an opponent) is not allowed and is punishable with a direct free kick, or a penalty kick if the offence occurs within the penalty area. Mark Clattenburg was absolutely spot on to call a penalty in Arsenals favour. Fans (as well as players, coaches and anyone else who watches the game) would do well to familiarize themselves with FIFAs laws of the game. Some of your preconceived ideas about how the game is officiated might actually turn out to be completely false. D. J. Augustin Jersey . Virtanen opened the scoring at 6:45 of the first period, then gave Canada a two-goal lead with a power-play goal 1:03 into the second. Sweden cut the lead in half when Daniel Muzito Bagenda scored a power-play goal at 10:57 of the second. Al Jefferson Jersey . on the 15-day disabled Monday list because of a strained right hamstring.LONDON -- Arsene Wenger will feel "let down" if UEFA does not take a strong stance against clubs found guilty of breaking Financial Fair Play rules. UEFA will announce the first sanctions this month and more serious cases will be judged in June. A UEFA panel has negotiated settlements with clubs which have breached rules designed to curb owners excessive spending on transfers and wages since 2011. "One of the rules is that normally you should be banned for the excess of the financial amount that is not justified, that is if you are 100 million pounds ($169 million) overboard, you should be punished for 100 million of your wages bill in the Champions League," the Arsenal manager said during a pre-match news conference on Friday. UEFA said in February it targeted 76 clubs which played in the Champions League or Europa League. Speculation centred on big spenders Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, which are owned by the ruling families of Qatar and Abu Dhabi, respectively. Wenger said its in UEFAs interest to send a strong message when the first sanctions are issued in order to convince clubs to take its scheme seriously. "I want to see that respected. Kendall Gill Jersey. If that is not respected, then the Financial Fair Play will have problems to be respected in the future because everyone will just not consider it at all," Wenger said. UEFA appointed former Belgium Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene to lead the panel investigating club accounts. Serious sanctions will be decided by a panel led by Jose Cunha Rodrigues of Portugal, a judge at the European Court of Justice. Expulsion from the Champions League and second-tier Europa League are the toughest penalty UEFA reserves but its president, Michel Platini, said last week in an interview with a French newspaper that clubs wont be excluded from next seasons Champions League. Wenger believes Platinis announcement could be linked to TV rights sales. "That has gone now out. I have thought about that problem and the media might play a part in that, because when UEFA sells the rights of the Champions League to a French TV station, it is very difficult to explain to them once they have paid the money that the best club in their country will not play in the competition, so that might be one of the reasons behind that," the French coach said. ' ' '
Out of the disaster that was last season for the Edmonton Eskimos, the team accomplished perhaps the most important task of a rebuilding squad. Ken Sears Jersey . A 4-14 record (last in the West Division) with a seventh ranked offence in terms of points scored and sixth-ranked defence wasnt pretty. Nor was the contract extension given to Kavis Reed early in the year. But few expected the Eskimos to truly compete in the tough West Division and figured 2013, the first of the Ed Hervey era, would be a rebuilding year. The main goal Eskimos fans hoped would be accomplished was, the team found what looks to be their quarterback of the future in Mike Reilly. Edmonton procured Reilly after a three-year apprenticeship in BC under one of the best QBs in the game Travis Lulay. In his first year as a full-time starter Reilly impressed with 4,207 passing yards and 24 touchdowns to 18 interceptions while missing some game action due to a late-season concussion. Buoyed somewhat by injuries around the league, Reilly was second in the league in passing and when you add his impressive 709 yards on the ground, was only 300 yards behind league-leader Henry Burris for most combined yards. The 29-year-old also proved to have the heart of a champion, a quality surely revered by the City of Champions. Reillys gutsy play made him a quick fan favourite but there is a disadvantage to his full speed, caution to the wind playing style as well. Buck Pierce was loved and respected two provinces over for his gutsy efforts the past several years. He also spent a sizable amount of time on the injured list before the Winnipeg Blue Bombers decided it best to move on from the courageous quarterback. Reilly would do well to find a nice balance between winning at all costs and career longevity, something the Eskimos are likely preaching to him as well. With the QB position solidified, the Eskimos attacked another major deficiency in landing a promising head coach in the off-season. Chris Jones learned the CFL craft with the Montreal Alouettes, picking up a Grey Cup ring in the process, before expanding his role with the Calgary Stampeders and earning another championship. He was a hot commodity when he jumped ship to the Toronto Argonauts, helping the team win the historic 100th Grey Cup, the third of his career. Jones is a proven winner and a coach that will demand results; he brings a much different style to the table than that of his predecessor, Reeds. Albeit big ones, Jones and Reilly are just two pieces of the puzzle. And the Eskimos need to get better filling the many holes they still have on the roster. The objective now may be to speed up the process. Eskimo fans will have to learn a lot more patience if the team is only checking off one item per year on the “to-do” list. That said, the Lions, Calgary Stampeders, and Saskatchewan Roughriders all figure to field contenders once again in 2014. Edmonton should be afforded at least one more year of rebuilding. With Reilly in tow at quarterback and Jones looking promising at head coach, the Eskimos can focus on building a more complete roster top to bottom. Notes Expansion Draft The Eskimos lost a trio of promising young players in the expansion draft to Ottawa. International receiver Carlton Mitchell was plucked in the first round but his loss wont be felt as much nationals Alexander Krausnick, a centre, and Justin Capiciotti, a defensive lineman. Free Agency Edmonton remains in rebuilding mode and added a couple nice pieces to their roster during free agency. The biggest chip was cornerback Patrick Watkins, who followed his defensive coordinator Chris Jones out west. Edmonton also nabbed some offensive linemen in Justin Sorensen and Andrew Jones, and national receiver Akeem Foster. CFL Draft The Eskimos had the fewest picks in the draft with just five and were one of three teams to not take a single offensive lineman. Instead, they targeted the skill positions in grabbing WR Devon Bailey from St. Francis Xavier in the first round and RB Aaron Milton from Toronto in the second round. The teams final three picks included DB Raye Hartmann from St. Francis Xavier in the fourth round, K/P Zackary Medeiros from Montreal in the sixth round, and DL Michael Dadzie from Regina in the seventh round. Mitchell Robinson Jersey . Louis, MO (SportsNetwork. Langston Galloway Jersey . Roma has a game in hand but now second place is even at risk for the capital side as Napoli moved to within three points with the win. "The result is not always fair," Roma coach Rudi Garcia said. "If we play like this until the end we will win many matches.Mouse Morris was still pinching himself on Sunday morning following Rule The Worlds tremendous victory in the Crabbies Grand National at Aintree. Named to be a superstar, the nine-year-old has suffered repeated injury problems in recent years, twice fracturing his pelvis, but has been brilliantly nursed back to full health by his popular trainer.The Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding arrived on Merseyside a maiden over fences after 13 starts, but broke his duck in the grandest manner in the hands of teenage riding sensation David Mullins Morris said on Sunday morning: It hasnt sunk in properly yet.The horse is in great form. You wouldnt believe it but you could run him again today. Its unbelievable.It has been a testing 12 months for the County Tipperary handler following the tragic death of his son, Christopher, last summer.Morris was reduced to tears and lost for words in the immediate aftermath of Saturdays momentous triumph and admits he could not believe what he was seeing.Watching the race I thought we were going to be third and I was going to be very happy with that. It would have been a fantastic run, he said.From where I was watching it, I didnt really believe it until he passed the winning post.Hes a horse I always thought an awful lot of until he had his injuries. Hes a typical National horse - hes a big horse that jumps well and has a bit of class.The funny thing is hes actually a good ground horse. Because of his injuries, his rear end isnt as strong as it should be muscle-wiise and I think the better the ground the better he is. Carmelo Anthony Jersey . As for future plans, Morris said: Id say its very unlikely hell run again this year, anyway. Well let the smoke clear and dust settle and well see where we are after that. The horse wont be abused, that is for sure.However, speaking to Sky Sports News, Ryanair boss OLeary seemed keener upon making sure that Rule The World would now retire on a high.Well, look, well see how he comes out of the race in the next couple of days, he said.Punchestown would obviously be the next [possible] outing, but well let Mouse decide in the next couple of weeks whether he runs in Punchestown or not.As I said yesterday, my only concern is the horse is now nine, he has suffered two pelvic fractures over the last three or four years and he has suffered a lot of injuries - I would be conscious now having had a Grand National winner not to do anything that would endanger him or threaten him or run the risk of pelvic injury.Well sit down and think about it over the summer. If I had my way Id like to retire him, but I think in this case well let Mouse decide what he wants to do and I know Mouse will make the right decision by the horse.If he wants to train him on next year, then well train on. If not, well retire him and mind him and look after him for the rest of his life in Gigginstown. Also See: Live results service Full racecards Get Sky Sports ' ' '