Saturday 24 February 2018

Mourinho bemused by Mike Riley's apology to West Brom over controversial penalty award

Matt McGeehan

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants to know the full impact of referees' chief Mike Riley apologising to West Brom - and "publicly exposing" Andre Marriner - following the controversial award of a penalty in the last round of Barclays Premier League fixtures.

The Baggies looked set for a famous victory at Stamford Bridge earlier this month before referee Marriner awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time when Ramires went down after colliding with Steven Reid and Eden Hazard converted.

West Brom boss Steve Clarke was furious and Riley has now issued an apology.

"I'm very curious to know the consequences of it," said Mourinho, speaking prior to Saturday's match at West Ham.

"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."

Mourinho is eager to know if Hull, Norwich, Swansea and Aston Villa received phone calls for perceived mistakes made by officials against them.

"I'm curious to know if Steve Bruce got a phone call," Mourinho said.

"I'm interested to know if Chris Hughton got a phone call. I'm interested to know if (Michael) Laudrup got a phone call.

"Nobody called me to apologise about the fact that it was not a free-kick against West Bromwich in their second goal.

"Nobody apologised to me for the penalty against Everton, which would have been 1-1 for us.

"I don't know if Paul Lambert got a phone call. I don't know."

Asked whether he had ever received a phone call from an official during his career, Mourinho added: "If they do that, during my career, my telephone would be very, very busy."

Mourinho would not comment when questioned over West Brom defender Jonas Olsson's claims he was called a "Mickey Mouse player" by the Chelsea boss.

"Giant players, giant coaches and giant clubs, they don't speak about what happens in the tunnel," Mourinho said.

"The game is a game, the game finished, in the tunnel sometimes a couple of things happen, a couple of words, not aggressions, nothing.

"But giant clubs, giant players and giant managers, they close their mouths. And the next day is another day."

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited pointed out that it was West Brom, and not Riley, who opted to make a private conversation public in relation to the penalty award.

Swansea boss Laudrup revealed he too had spoken to Riley with regards a controversial penalty award - in his side's 3-3 draw with Stoke - but declined to reveal the details of the conversation.

Asked for his thoughts on Mourinho's comments about referees being "publicly exposed by their own boss" for making controversial decisions that favour Chelsea, Clarke said: "Just (in matches) against Chelsea? I wouldn't think that is correct.

"I'm not sure of the context of what Jose said, but I know if a mistake is a mistake and Mike Riley wants to give me a phonecall and say 'look, we made a mistake, sorry about that', it doesn't get me back the two points that we didn't get so it doesn't really help us - it is just nice that Mike decided it was a mistake. He obviously felt it was a mistake by the referee and we move on."

He added: "I don't want to sit here and talk and talk about referees because, since I came into this job, I've been a big supporter of referees.

"I understand they have a really difficult job. I've never stood in front of a camera and lambasted the referee - I've always tried to support the guys and I think everyone else should try to do that as well. We have to try to help referees' performances and make the spectacle better for everybody."

Asked if he felt Riley's apology had made things harder for referees, Clarke said: "I don't think it makes it harder for them.

"(Referee) Howard Webb apologised after he didn't give us a penalty against Stoke.

"It is something that has always happened - I don't think we're the only club that has been phoned by Mike Riley to apologise about a decision that has maybe cost a team some points, not this season and certainly not last season.

"I don't understand why Jose and Chelsea would want to make a big issue of it - I think everyone should move on."

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