James Maddison says referee Michael Oliver had no option other than to book him after he lifted his shirt to reveal a heartwarming message in memory of a young cancer victim.
The Foxes playmaker put his side ahead at Burnley before looking to the heavens and revealing the message ‘RIP Sophie, I love you’ – a tribute to five-year-old Sophie Taylor, a mascot at Maddison’s former club Norwich who sadly passed away in January.
Oliver subsequently issued a yellow card for the action and has been criticised by some on social media, but Maddison holds no grudges and hailed the official’s empathy.
James Maddison says ref Michael Oliver had to book him for his celebration against Burnley
Maddison lifted his shirt to reveal a message in memory of a young cancer victim
‘He’s just doing his job and didn’t have a choice,’ the 22-year-old tweeted. ‘He didn’t enjoy showing me a yellow and shared his condolences about the passing of Sophie, which I thought was very respectful.’
Maddison’s opener, a fine curling free-kick from the edge of the area, put the visitors in front following the fourth minute dismissal of England defender Harry Maguire.
Out-of-form Burnley levelled through teenage winger Dwight McNeil but substitute Wes Morgan snatched an unlikely victory for Brendan Rodgers’ side with a 90th minute header.
The victory was the Foxes third in four since the Northern Irish former Liverpool boss moved south from Celtic.
Oliver issued a yellow card and has been criticised, but Maddison says he holds no grudges