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Gruesome image of Stephen Ireland's calf injury surfaces after horror tackle

Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes claimed the tackle could have ended Stephen Ireland's career

Ireland suffered a deep gash on his calf following a tackle by Figueroa

A graphic image of Stoke City’s Stephen Ireland’s leg, shortly after a horror tackle by Hull City’s Maynor Figueroa, has emerged to spark off the much discussed issue of an immediate review protocol for the referee’s decision on the pitch. The technology versus spontaneity debate, long plaguing football, surfaced again after this EPL game.

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On a day which saw the wrong ex-Manchester United player sent off at Old Trafford, two United legends turned managers Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce squared off at the Britannia stadium.

Hughes’ Stoke City beat Bruce’s Hull 1-0, but the match was marred by what was a horror tackle from Hull defender Maynor Figueroa on Stoke City midfielder Stephen Ireland in the first half. The referee Neil Swarbrick didn’t deem it as a challenge worthy of a booking.

Ireland, who had to be substituted off half-time because of the calf injury suffered during the tackle, later released images of the injury sustained. The ex-Manchester City man suffered a deep gash and reportedly needed up to 15 stitches.

A fuming Mark Hughes later told the BBC, “The tackle on Stevie Ireland could have finished his career. Why the referee hasn’t given a straight red for that, I have no idea.

“The referees have got to get their act together, really. He has had it all stitched up and hopefully it doesn’t get infected, but that is the risk over the next couple of days.”

The incident comes just a week after the controversial tackle by Ashley Barnes on Nemanja Matic where the Burnley man escaped with what seemed like a malicious tackle, but the Serb was sent off for reacting to the challenge.

Ireland leg cut injury
Ireland's injury which required 15 stitches (Image courtesy Daily Telegraph)
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