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Sep 29, 2008

Styles keeps status after Bolton apology

Match official Rob Styles has retained his status as a Premier League referee despite admitting he mistakenly awarded a penalty to Manchester United on Saturday.

Styles made private contact with Bolton on Monday to apologise for giving a spot-kick to United when defender Jlloyd Samuel fairly tackled Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford. On Saturday Bolton boss Gary Megson, angry after his team's 2-0 defeat, in which Ronaldo's was the first goal, said on Saturday he would not welcome any call from Styles.

Officials who make mistakes often miss out on refereeing a Premier League match the following weekend. But referees' chief Keith Hackett has decided to back Styles, and he will be in charge for Tottenham v Hull on Sunday.

Last season Styles made a public apology for a mistake on the field publicly to Liverpool for a penalty error when Steve Finnan challenged Florent Malouda. He was excluded from the next Premier League programme on that occasion.

In making the call to Bolton, Sir Alex Ferguson feels the referee has done exactly the right thing.

"Rob takes a lot of credit,'' said the United boss ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League clash with Aalborg.

"It helps in terms of him showing some humility towards the game. That is the most important thing.

"It is good he has done it. It presents him in a different light.

"It shows he has character and is big enough to do it."

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