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Watch: Jason McAteer incensed after Star Sixes sending-off for kicking Michael Owen in the rear

Sun, Jan 06 2019

McAteer on punditry duty for Liverpool TV at the Aviva Stadium in 2018. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Republic of Ireland captain Jason McAteer bemoaned the standard of officiating at the Star Sixes legends tournament after he was sent off for kicking Michael Owen up the arse.

The former Liverpool teammates tangled close to the end of the final group game between the Boys in Green and England, which the Three Lions won 1-0 thanks to a Paul Konchesky goal.

McAteer was left incensed following the defeat – which meant England went on to meet the Rest of the World instead of Ireland – when Owen escaped punishment for an off-the-ball kick.

The referee instead sent off the former Ireland international for what appeared to be a playful nudge in the behind as the players were separated.

“We had a coming together, a little pulling of the shirt, we spun around and then Michael Owen lashed out,” he told Sky Sports.

“The referee didn’t see it, or he didn’t want to see it because it was England and Michael Owen, more to the point.

“We kind of made up a bit and I gave him a little friendly sort of push up the backside and the referee decided to [send me off].

“I’ll tell you why it’s not a red card – it’s because it’s Michael Owen and it’s England, and the officials are that bad.”

McAteer’s competitive spirit has remained undimmed since he finished up as a player – he was famously floored by Dublin GAA keeper Stephen Cluxton during a charity game in 2011.