Debate is over. Former Premier League referee gives verdict on red card shown to West Ham’s Fabian Balbuena against Chelsea

Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena was shown a red after he caught Chelsea full-back Ben Chilwell on the calf as he pulled his leg back from an attempted pass.

The decision drew criticism from all corners of the footballing world, from ex-pros to pundits, with current Crystal Palace midfielder Andros Townsend tweeting: “I can’t believe it…I’ve just witnessed a man get sent off by clearing the ball…this has to stop…THE GAMES GONE!”

However, former Premier League referee Chris Foy insists the referee was right to send off the West Ham defender.

Foy told the Daily Mail: “In real time Chris Kavanagh didn’t see the challenge by Fabian Balbuena on Ben Chilwell but VAR Peter Bankes does check it and feel it’s worthy of sanction.

“He suggests Chris go to the review area and when Chris looks at the challenge, he’s asking himself is there excessive force and has the West Ham player endangered the safety of an opponent? In both cases I think it’s clear that the answer is yes.

“Referees are there to look after the welfare of the players.

“There was a challenge a few minutes later by Vladimir Coufal on Antonio Rudiger which people were saying was similar, but it wasn’t clear-cut.”

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