A contentious moment in the 1-1 draw between Bournemouth and Southampton has resulted in a refereeing controversy.
In the first half, with Bournemouth dominating the match but the game still scoreless, Adam Smith went down in the box under a heavy challenge from Sofiane Boufal. The replay showed Smith clearly get to the ball first before Boufal made heavy contact with Smith’s feet, but instead of a penalty given, match referee Jon Moss gave Smith a yellow card for diving.
[ RECAP: Bournemouth and Southampton share the spoils ]
The yellow card is Smith’s fifth of the season, meaning he will miss Bournemouth’s next match on the road against Crystal Palace.
After the match, Smith called the decision “disappointing,” and then when pressed further by the post-match interviewer, revealed he received an apology from the referee for an incorrect decision.
“I’ve kind of jumped to go over it and then he’s took me down,” Smith said after the match, “so for the ref to book me is disappointing, and it doesn’t help because that’s my fifth booking now and I miss the next game, so I’m not sure if they can rescind it or not but that’s very disappointing.”
“I spoke to him [the referee] after and he apologized and said it was a penalty. I don’t mind him admitting it, but the fact that he’s booked me as well and it’s probably not going to get rescinded is disappointing because I’m going to miss the next game.”
The decision sparked debate between NBC studio analysts Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle, with Mustoe claiming it was a clear penalty, while Earl countered that Smith’s overreaction and intent to dive before the contact arrived warranted the caution for diving.