ITV couldn’t have had a panel of pundits more partial to a tough tackle…
While most felt that the red card shown to Switzerland midfielder Remo Freuler was on the harsh side, the ITV trio of Roy Keane, Graeme Souness and Nigel de Jong took the opposite stance.
Freuler was given his marching orders with 15 minutes remaining in the Euro 2020 quarter-final against Spain and many felt that Michael Oliver’s decision should have been overturned.
Former England forward Gary Lineker insisted that Freuler’s challenge did not warrant a red card.
Another red card for virtually nothing.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) July 2, 2021
Over on ITV, however, the hard-tackling trio of Keane, Souness and De Jong were adamant that Freuler could have no complaints over his dismissal.
“I would always try to defend the players but I just think that he’s off his feet, he’s kind of out of control and I think it’s the right decision,” Keane said.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) July 2, 2021
Roy Keane on Remo Freuler red card
“I liked the physical side of the game but I think it’s the correct decision…
“Most sending-offs come from a bad first touch. You’re chasing the ball, you’re out of control and you’re desperate.
“Every time you make a tackle, you’re endangering your opponent anyway but he was off the ground – it was dangerous.”
De Jong and Souness agreed with Keane’s argument, maintaining that Freuler was out of control and endangering Spain’s striker Gerard Moreno.
Keane joked that his fellow pundits were more accustomed to red cards than him and provided some insight into how he used to reflect on dismissals during his playing career.
Keane continued: “Obviously these lads were sent off a lot more than me but the few times I did get sent off, I always thought, ‘Did I give the referee a chance to send me off?’
“If the answer is yes then I can’t complain.”