The England forward was given an unjust penalty by referee Viktor Kassai during City’s 6-0 triumph in the Etihad on Wednesday, once he tripped over his foot under no pressure from a competitor.
Higginbotham does not think Sterling should have followed suit, although the episode has remembered memories of Robbie Fowler asking a referee to retract a punishment in a match against Arsenal in 1997.
“From the heat of the moment you think very differently than what you might do when you just take some time away from it,” Higginbotham informed Sky Sports News.
“I’ve not had a situation like that but I have been around the pitch and done things where following the game I have gone’what are you believing?’ .
“It’s at the heat of the moment, should he have some criticism heading his way? I don’t believe he should.
“Lots of people have come and said he must go up to the Army and say it is not a punishment but the referee may never alter his mind and it is a decision the referee has left.”
Sterling apologised to Shakhtar and the referee for the punishment and City boss Pep Guardiola confessed his participant might have owned up to what occurred.
Higginbotham believes Sterling remains a simple goal and”hindsight is a excellent thing”.
“In these scenarios, you have referees who are there to the match. He’s not dived, that is rather obvious once you find the replay, also hasn’t gone looking for a penalty\.
“He’s stubbed his foot and fallen over. Anything that revolves around Raheem Sterling, we have spoken about it \seems to come .
“We seem to check on the negative things as it gives people an opportunity to jump on his back again I think is completely erroneous.”
Higginbotham also concerns whether there would be the same uproar if the conclusion was the other\.
“I’m not trying to flip it over but if a defender fouls an opposition player in the box, along with the referee does not offer a penalty, the defender should go up to the referee and state’that should be a penalty’?” Higginbotham explained.
“That isn’t likely to happen. However, is there a difference between the two?”
He added:”We are all very quick to judge but we are not at the heat of this battle, to the pitch at that time.
“You need to take a step back, it’s what it really is. Sterling will get his point of reference on how he should have gone about things”