Jose Mourinho has questioned referees’ chief Mike Riley decision to apologise to West Brom after Andre Marriner awarded Chelsea a controversial penalty which denied the Baggies a famous victory at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.
The Portuguese manager is worried that by issuing an apology could have negative implications, argues that it exposes Marriner and is curious if such things will be issued as a matter of course for future mistakes.
Ramires was a key player in the incident in question as he went down following a collision with Steven Reid before Marriner awarded the spot-kick that Eden Hazard duly dispatched and earned the Blues a point which is arguably more than we deserved for our apathetic performance on the day.
It caused a media storm and the publicity drove Riley into saying sorry more than the actual decision itself as we see many incorrect calls in the Premier League every week but never do we hear of an apology. Mourinho is concerned that an act which went over the referee’s head could lead to consequences for his side.
The 50-year-old told reporters at a press conference:
“I’m very curious to know the consequences of it.
“At least now the referees know, they know one thing. If in a controversial – I’m not saying a mistake – decision that hypothetically – and, I repeat, hypothetically – favours Chelsea, they know they are going to be publicly exposed by their boss. That they know.
“They can make, hypothetically, mistakes, favouring other teams, nothing happens.
“If hypothetically – and, I repeat, hypothetically – they make a mistake, they are publicly exposed by their own boss.
“I’m very curious to know if it was just an isolated phone call. I’m curious to know if people see that as a normal situation.
“I’m interested to know if this is the start, that from now on it’s going to be the same for everybody.”
“I’m curious to know if Steve Bruce got a phone call. I’m interested to know if Chris Hughton got a phone call. I’m interested to know if (Michael) Laudrup got a phone call.”
He is spot on with his point here. It is a pretty weak of Riley if it only takes a bit of media scrutiny to make him buckle and expose one of his refs which doesn’t bode well for the bigger teams as decisions in their favour are always going to be discussed at length. My hope is that Riley’s blunder doesn’t affect the performance of Chris Foy (or any other referee) this weekend… but I suspect he doesn’t really like Chelsea anyway considering his previous when he’s the man in the middle for our matches.
Marriner’s decision was wrong and West Brom had every right to feel hard done by but it’s been handled in completely the wrong way. Referees can be the bane of the football fan but they can and will make mistakes, they’re human, what they don’t need is their superiors second guessing them.