LONDON: English referees’ boss Mike Riley has apologised to West Bromwich for the last-minute penalty which denied them a victory at Chelsea earlier this month.
Albion were 2-1 up when referee Andre Marriner awarded the Blues a spot-kick four minutes into added time for Steven Reid’s challenge on Ramires. Eden Hazard scored to earn a 2-2 draw, denying the Baggies a first league win at Stamford Bridge since 1978.
Albion manager Steve Clarke said: “We’ve had a phone call from Mike Riley to apologise. He obviously feels it was the wrong decision. It doesn’t get us any more points but it’s nice of Mike to phone.”
Riley’s call to the club is the second apology Albion have received inside a month, with former World Cup final referee Howard Webb having also said sorry for not awarding Clarke’s side a penalty during the goalless draw with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium last month.
The club has complained formally to Professional Game Match Officials Ltd about four penalty decisions which have gone against them in the opening 11 games of the season.
Clarke said: “The purpose of the letter is to try to provoke discussion. It’s not necessarily a discussion between us and the authorities but a discussion between everyone and the authorities to see if there is a way we can improve the game.
“If there is technology that can be used to help referees make difficult decisions, which is what they have to do, then let’s look at it and see what we can come up with.”
Albion are 10th in the Premier League table ahead of Monday night’s home derby against neighbours Aston Villa, who are level on points and just a place behind.