FA chairman praises ref Bennett

The FA's independent chairman Lord Triesman has praised referee Steve Bennett for showing "the bottle" to send off Javier Mascherano on Sunday.

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Triesman supported Bennett, whose decision to show the Liverpool midfielder a second yellow card for dissent against Manchester United has caused plenty of debate, with the Argentina international and Reds boss Rafael Benitez questioning the dismissal.

Triesman is a keen supporter of the FA's newly announced initiative to foster a culture of respect for officials in the sport and he believes more referees need to replicate Bennett by punishing players who fail to uphold those standards.

He told the Daily Mail: "I thought he had done what I would like to feel referees will do - which is to have the bottle to do what is necessary.

"I'm not going to prejudge the issue because there may be hearings here, and I'm not going to cloud the process, but in my view it's the beginning of referees saying they are part of the equation.

"They have to use the powers they have. You can have the campaign, try to work with parents, devise new rules, but someone has to do it in the middle of the field."

Triesman echoed the sentiments of former England boss Sir Bobby Robson, who criticised the conduct of modern players when compared to their predecessors.

"I think we've gone through a period when, in my view, culturally the game has degraded," he added.

"I have a sense we're at a tipping point. If you lose the scrupulous fairness of a Bobby Moore you potentially lose it for a very long time."

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