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Forest Green lodge complaint
The New Lawn

Forest Green Rovers have lodged a complaint with the FA over a controversial decision by the referee in their match at Northwich Victoria.

During their 2-0 defeat at Victoria Stadium on Saturday 17 February, referee Peter Quinn asked substitute Danny Carey-Bertram to leave the field of play to remove clothing he deemed to be illegal.

With the score still at 0-0, Rovers were forced to play with ten players for some four minutes and as the player returned, Northwich scored. Rovers management were at variance with the interpretation of the referee and felt that the decision was pivotal to the result.

The Football Association have issued an initial response to the complaint, stating that the referee will be asked to explain his actions and have informed the club that they believed he should not have prevented the player from playing.

They also maintain that if the referee believed there was a contravention of a FIFA or FA directive then he should have reported it and not taken his own action.

The directive, issued this season from the FA and re-circulated to all clubs in the FA Premiership, Football League and Nationwide Conference on 1 February, relates to the wearing of undergarments.

Forest Green Rovers have asked, for the purpose of clarity, that the directive be re-visted to ensure that there can only be one interpretation possible.

In the case in question, the Rovers player wore black 'tights' under his black shorts and black socks, yet Mr Quinn ruled this was in contravention of the directive.

In their complaint to the FA the club pointed out that if that were the case, then a certain well-known Premiership player also contravened the directive in the FA Cup this Sunday.

Having said that, the club believes that Mr Quinn was at fault with his interpretation of the directive. Also, the player in question and other players have worn similar undergarments since the directive was issued and no such action has been taken against this player or any team-mates.

In consulation with the Football Conference, who are due to meet the FA over other matters this week, Forest Green Rovers have requested that a clear statement about this directive needs to be made before the player plays again this week against Morecambe.

A club spokesman stated: "The club would not rule out the possibility of making an appeal to have the match replayed but thought that it is unlikely.

"The incident was bizarre and sadly shows that certain directives in the current game have nothing to do with the game of football itself.

"This needs sorting out quickly for the benefit of every member club in the Conference."

All member clubs in the Conference have been alerted to this incident and many have responded with their personal views on the subject, but they all agree the FA have to ensure that all clubs and all match official are clear on this directive.

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