Former referee Graham Poll says Andre Marriner was right to ignore Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's admission that he, rather than Kieran Gibbs, should be sent off against Chelsea on Saturday.
"Players can largely be trusted but there are many, many incidents where they can't," Poll said.
He added players may try to take the blame for more important team-mates.
"You can't reverse a decision based on what a player says to you," Poll said.
"If England are at 1-1 in the World Cup semi-final and Wayne Rooney gets involved in a violent confrontation with an opponent, the left-back could say, 'it was me ref' because he knows Rooney is more likely to score the winner.
"You have to go on what you have seen, or believe you have seen, unless there is evidence to the contrary."
Poll, who refereed 329 Premier League matches before his retirement in June 2007, said the successful use of the Hawk-Eye system to review goal-line decisions in England's top-flight shows that there is a place for more technology in the game.
"If Andre had the facility, like in rugby or in cricket, to check on the player's identity and if it was a goal-scoring opportunity, it would have taken five seconds," Poll added.
"The one guy who didn't know was the one guy who had to know."
But another former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher said that introducing technology should not be rushed.
"We've got to be careful we don't have a kneejerk reaction. We're talking about technology suddenly because of one decision on Saturday," said Gallagher on BBC Radio 5 live.
"I'm very wary of technology in so much as if you say it's going to be for this, I think the next step is a manager saying 'well hang on, the technology is there, we can further develop it'.
"I think if you're going to have technology, it's got to be under strict guidelines, matters of fact."
Despite calls for him to be stood down for a period of time in the wake of his error, Marriner will take charge of Southampton's home game with Newcastle on Saturday.