Mar 24, 2014

    Ref 'disappointed' for sending Gibbs packing


    REFEREE Andre Marriner "expressed his disappointment" to Arsenal after sending off the wrong player during their 6-0 loss to Chelsea on Saturday, the Premier League's refereeing body announced.

    Arsenal were 2-0 down at Stamford Bridge in manager Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game in charge when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain used his hand to push a shot from Chelsea winger Eden Hazard away from goal in the 15th minute.

    Marriner awarded a penalty, which Hazard subsequently scored, but showed a red card to Oxlade-Chamberlain's innocent teammate, Kieran Gibbs, who was standing nearby.

    Television footage appeared to show England midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain telling the official: "Ref, it was me!"

    But Marriner let the decision stand, and Gibbs was left to storm off the pitch.

    In a statement released after the game, Professional Game Match Officials Limited said: "Andre is an experienced referee and is obviously disappointed that an error of mistaken identity was made in this case.

    "Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors.

    "Whilst this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.

    "He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue."

    Fourth official Anthony Taylor confirmed to television broadcasters at half-time that Gibbs' red card had been a case of mistaken identity.

    The Football Association announced during the game that Arsenal had the right to appeal against the decision, tweeting: "Clubs can appeal mistaken identity to The @FA, although The @FA can pro-actively review also."

    Wenger felt that the controversy stemmed from the fact that Marriner had not seen Oxlade-Chamberlain's handball.

    "I believe it was handball, but the referee hadn't seen it," said the Frenchman.

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said: "It was a penalty and a red card; unfortunately, the wrong boy came off.

    "Even the linesman couldn't help him (Marriner) to make the right decision.

    "The important decision: Is it a penalty? Yes. Is it a red card? Yes."