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Jeff Stelling Criticises Ref For Booking Matty Cash For T-Shirt Message To Teammate

Jeff Stelling Criticises Ref For Booking Matty Cash For T-Shirt Message To Teammate
By Jonathan Byrne Updated

Matty Cash has been having another fine season for Aston Villa and he came up with the goods again away to Brighton.

The right-back struck a low ball off the post after 17 minutes and it found its way past Robert Sanchez. But it's the subsequent celebration that has grabbed the headlines.

Cash made his way to the sideline and lifted his shirt, revealing a message of support for Polish international teammate Tomasz Kedziora. 

Kedziora plays for Dynamo Kyiv and a number of the Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk players have found themselves stranded in the war-torn city.

All matches in the Ukrainian league were suspended indefinitely on Thursday after the country declared martial law amid the Russian invasion.

However, people have been critical of referee John Brooks and his decision to book Cash for his message of solidarity, in light of the tragedy facing Ukraine.

Matty Cash Sees Yellow

Some believe he should have shown some sympathy for Cash given the circumstances, but others say it's a difficult position for referees to be put in.

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Cash had written the words "Tomasz Kedziora and family - stay strong bro" underneath his jersey.

On the Soccer Saturday panel, Jeff Stelling said referee John Brooks - who is refereeing his third Premier League game today - should have shown more discretion and not booked Cash for the message of support.

"Look, John Brooks is an inexperienced Premier League referee. Hopefully, when people come to their senses, they'll just ignore that --- they should just ignore that," he said.

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It wasn't the first time a player has been booked for showing a message on his shirt with a message of support. In 2018, it happened to Everton winger Demarai Gray.

When playing for Leicester City in 2018, Gray displayed a tribute on his undershirt for late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who died in a helicopter crash and saw yellow afterwards.

Referees follow guidelines and any messages that show 'political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images' amount to a cautionable offence.

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However, according to The Athletic, Matty Cash was solely booked for removing his shirt as opposed to the message he displayed.

See Also: Poland And Sweden Refuse To Play World Cup Playoffs With Russia

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