Sport Soccer

Friday 27 April 2018

Roberto Martinez frustrated by FA fine

Andy Hampson

WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez claims he will never blame a referee for a defeat but feels he should have a right to express his opinion on decisions.

Martinez is considering whether to appeal against a £10,000 fine from the FA for comments criticising referees after his side's 4-0 loss at Manchester United last month.

The Spaniard was found guilty of misconduct for suggesting Michael Oliver had been biased against his team during the Premier League match at Old Trafford.

Martinez accepts his comments could be interpreted that way but feels he was misconstrued after making a wider general point about getting decisions against big clubs.

"I think it is important after a match you can be honest and have a pure assessment of the game. That is what I did," he said.

"It was based on the stats and what happened in the game.

"I would never question the integrity of the referee or question if the referee was biased towards a decision. That was never the case.

"The meaning of what I said is something I stand by but the perception of certain quotes, when they are written, can be different. That is very difficult to measure, I understand that.

"I wasn't talking about the referee, I was talking about the figure of the referee in those certain games.

"I was talking about the experience that we at Wigan Athletic have had going away from home and unfortunately the calls we have had of late."

Martinez said in the aftermath of the game that it felt as though his side were "fighting against a mountain".

United's Danny Welbeck was awarded a penalty early on which Martinez felt was "as bad a decision as you are going to see in the Premier League".

He said at the time: "I have come to United three times before today and for whatever reason we don't seem to be measured in the same manner as the team at home.

"In many ways, you feel as though you are fighting against a mountain.

"There were tackles flying around that if they had been the other way round there would have been a couple of red cards."

Wigan expect to receive the written judgement from the FA tomorrow and must make a decision regarding an appeal by Monday.

"We have had the hearing and now we are waiting if we can appeal the decision because it is something I don't agree with," Martinez said.

"At the moment it is one of those situations you have to accept but we will look into the written outcome and see if we can appeal it.

"If you see the comments they are not disrespectful comments at all to the referee.

"I have a very good relationship with Michael Oliver and I said it after the game.

"I respect him as a referee and he has got the potential to be one of the best in the business.

"We have the responsibility as managers to come out and give our view and assess the game.

"That is all I did and I don't think there was anything wrong with it."

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