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Ferguson fury over Terry's rescinded red card

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed anger at the decision to overturn Chelsea captain John Terry's sending off last weekend.

The England skipper was given an automatic three-game suspension after Chelsea's Premier League win at Manchester City on Saturday but the Blues appealed, claiming wrongful dismissal, and provided video evidence of the incident.

Terry is now free to face United this weekend after winning an appeal against his straight red card, which referee Mark Halsey deemed was for serious foul play.

Ferguson claims a Manchester United player in the same situation would not have been so fortunate.

The Scot believes the appeal verdict was influenced by Keith Hackett, head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, and not referee Mark Halsey.

Ferguson, quoted in The Times, said: ''From what I have heard, Keith Hackett has told the referee to rescind the red card and he wouldn't do it. Now I understand he is refereeing in the second division this weekend.

''If it had been a Manchester United player, Keith Hackett wouldn't have done this.

''If the referee has made a mistake, this is going to happen all the time.''

Halsey has been 'demoted' to the Chester versus Shrewsbury League Two match on Sunday, though Premier League officials are contracted to referee a certain amount of Football League games.

A spokesman for the referees' body, the PGMOL, said that Hackett had no part in the appeal process, adding: "All matters of discipline are an issue for the Football Association and them alone."

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