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Wed 27 Feb 2008 07:11 AM

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Boro furious as Aliadiere ban extended

Middlesbrough reacted angrily after striker Jeremie Aliadiere's appeal was dismissed.

Middlesbrough reacted angrily after striker Jeremie Aliadiere's appeal against his sending off at Liverpool was dismissed by a disciplinary panel on Tuesday as "frivolous".

Boro appealed because they said the Frenchman's offence in slapping Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano during Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Anfield did not constitute violent conduct.

But that argument was rejected emphatically by a Football Association (FA) regulatory commission, who increased his ban from three games to four.

Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb was astounded by the FA's use of the word 'frivlous," saying it made a mockery of a serious appeal and proved there was one rule for 'big' clubs and another for the rest.

"We are furious and totally astounded that the commission, without consultation, should consider our appeal to be frivolous," said Lamb.

"Who are they to know our minds when we made this appeal?"

"We are appalled at the decision and the entire process. How can nameless, faceless people on a commission decide that our genuine claim for equality and justice be dealt with in such a flippant manner?"

"It is a disgraceful comment to suggest our claim was frivolous. We agonised over it before deciding to submit a claim for wrongful dismissal."

"The Oxford Dictionary definition of frivolous is 'not serious, shallow, silly or trifling', while in fact we spent more than two days considering whether or not to appeal the incident."

"It seems strange that only recently Chelsea's appeal against Michael Essien's three-match ban was rejected but not considered 'frivolous'."

"It appears that there is one rule for the big boys and another for the rest of us."

Earlier, an FA statement said: "At a regulatory commission hearing today, a claim for wrongful dismissal from Middlesbrough's Jeremie Aliadiere was rejected."

"The commission decided that the claim was frivolous and increased Aliadiere's suspension from three matches to four matches as a result with immediate effect."

Aliadiere will now miss Wednesday's FA Cup fifth-round replay against Sheffield United and Boro's three subsequent matches.

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