Harshest red card ever? Ethan Ampadu sent off for superb tackle on Franck Ribery

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Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu was sent off barely 20 minutes after coming on as a substitute for Venezia in their Serie A clash with Salernitana on Tuesday - and we still can't figure out why.

The 21-year-old defender was introduced at half-time by Venezia boss Paolo Zanetti in a game framed as a relegation six-pointer in the Italian top-flight, even at this early stage of the season.

His night, however, didn't last long. 

When one of Ampadu's colleague's played a loose pass to him mid-way through the second half, Salernitana's Franck Ribery seemed poised to steal the ball. Despite the veteran Frenchman looking favourite to win possession and go on to have an attempt on goal, Ampadu recovered superbly.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

Executing an inch-perfect tackle, the Welshman could not have timed his challenge as the last man any better. Referee Marco Di Bello, though, disagreed.

Taken in by Ribery theatrically rolling around on the turf following the tackle, the official gave Ampadu his marching orders. It was a poor decision from Di Bello, but situations like this are exactly what VAR was introduced to clear up.

Except it didn't. 

Incredibly, the red card wasn't overturned on review, leaving the desperately unfortunate Ampadu with no option but to trudge off the field.

Footage of the scandalous dismissal has since gone viral. You can check it out below.

Watch: Ethan Ampadu is the victim of possibly the worst red card ever

Fans on Twitter have leapt to Ampadu's defence, scarcely able to believe what they've seen.

"State of that man, that’s a brilliant challenge. It’s not even a foul never mind a red card," declared one reply.

Another asked: "Alexa, what's the Italian for "Are you having a ******* laugh ref?"

"Clean as a whistle...Referee's clueless," stated a third response.

"Games gone. May as well make it a non-contact sport and be done with it," argued a further comment.

"Simply the worst red card I've ever seen," surmised a final comment.

Ampadu might never make a finer tackle in his career - and yet he's going to have to serve a suspension because of it. Crazy stuff.

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