Premier League referees under fire after high-profile mistakes
Two top Premier League referees were subjected to a barrage of criticism last night on a day when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was at the centre of an elbow storm and there was a massive penalty blunder at Swansea.
Ibrahimovic faces a three-match ban from the Football Association after elbowing Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings, a clash which went unpunished by referee Kevin Friend.
And there was uproar at the Liberty Stadium where Anthony Taylor awarded Burnley a penalty in their 3-2 defeat at Swansea, even though it was a Burnley player, Sam Vokes, who had clearly handled the ball.
Furious Swansea boss Paul Clement immediately added his voice to the clamour for more video technology and Taylor later apologised for the mistake.
There was a huge social media backlash against both referees while Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted that Taylor and Friend had last week been on a three-day stag do in Marbella.
Ibrahimovic is unlikely to escape sanction for his elbow on Mings which came seconds after the Bournemouth defender had stamped on the Swede’s head in a fiery 1-1 draw.
Manchester United’s top scorer, a two-goal hero at Wembley in the EFL Cup final at Wembley last Sunday, was unrepentant, however, even claiming it was partly Mings’ fault.
He said: ‘I think he jumps backwards, and I jump straight up and unfortunately he jumps into my elbow. Hopefully he’s not injured.’
Mings also faces a suspension for the earlier stamp – also missed by referee Friend – though Wayne Rooney angered Bournemouth fans by leading the calls for a ban.
‘Everyone likes to go in and tackle but to try and stamp on a player’s head is wrong,’ said the England captain. ‘There’s no place for that in football and I am sure there will be a punishment.’
Meanwhile, referee Taylor provoked uproar at Swansea with his penalty clanger.
The blunder came 24 hours after the FA agreed to start trialling video assistant referees in next season’s FA Cup, and that can’t come soon enough for Swansea boss Paul Clement.
Clement, who confronted Taylor at half-time yesterday following the blunder, said: ‘I don’t understand why it’s taking so long, it’s been spoken about for years and years.
‘I feel for referees.’
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