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No action for ref Riley after Cole incident

Mike Riley, the referee, will not be punished after the incident involving Ashley Cole, the Chelsea full back, at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

He was seen by most observers to have been lenient in the extreme by showing Cole only a yellow card for his studs-up challenge on Alan Hutton, the Tottenham Hotspur defender.

Riley has been criticised widely for not dismissing Cole, but refereeing officials are satisfied that his view of the tackle was inadvertently "poor" and, having not realised its severity, he could not issue a straight red card.

He will take charge of the match between Reading and Birmingham City in the Barclays Premier League at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Had Riley been deemed to have erred in his judgment during the remarkable 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane, he could have been "rested" this weekend.

However, it was considered that, although he did not have a clear view of the Cole-Hutton incident, he had generally officiated well in a frantic London derby.

Riley will be relieved, having possibly avoided an unwanted double. He was "rested" from Premier League duty only last weekend after criticism of his handling of the 1-1 draw between Blackburn Rovers and Fulham two weeks ago, and returned to the middle only on Wednesday.

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Tribal Football Staff

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