The referee had an absolute mare on Tuesday night when he sent the wrong player off in Bolton’s League One game against Forest Green Rovers.
Cases of mistaken identity on a football have been few and far between even before the introduction of VAR. The most widely known example being Kieran Gibbs’ sending off for a handball against Chelsea when it was actually Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who committed the foul.
But it has incredibly happened again, this time two divisions below in League One.
Bolton player Dion Charles was sent-off on Tuesday night for violent conduct during their game against Forest Green Rovers. Nobody could understand why until a replay revealed Charles’ teammate, Elias Kachunga landing a sucker punch on the Forest defender.
See what Elias Kachunga does in the background here?
Dion Charles gets a red card for it. I wish I was kidding… pic.twitter.com/8bFqnoJeNv
— Edward Walker (@edward_w97) January 24, 2023
🟥 RED CARD: Dion Charles has been sent-off. Some confusion around the ground, we’re not sure what’s happened there!? 🤨
⚪️ 1-0 🌸 [30′] #BWFC 🐘🏰
— Bolton Wanderers (@OfficialBWFC) January 24, 2023
Ian Evatt, the Bolton boss was baffled by the decision when speaking to the press after the game.
“We cannot deny that Elias has let everybody down, showing that lack of discipline is not acceptable and he’s apologised to the group,” he said.
“For the linesman to spot it is a good spot but then to get a player involved and sent off who was 15 yards away from the incident is baffling.
“There is enough finance in the game for us to be able to have VAR for every division in the English pyramid. This is equally important to us as it is to any Premier League team.”