It seems as though refereeing errors are grabbing more and more attention in the Premier League recently. Last week, we had José Mourinho complaining that Chris Foy’s decisions had helped Aston Villa to victory over Chelsea. This weekend, Mourinho is on the other side, with Andre Marriner making a huge gaffe against Arsenal.
Except this mistake was rather unusual. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled Eden Hazard’s shot, which looked goal-bound to Marriner. As a result, the Arsenal man was given his marching orders. That would’ve given Arsenal fans plenty to moan about, as replays showed the shot was likely not destined for goal, but it was a reasonable mistake.
The trouble came when Marriner didn’t actually show the red card to Oxlade-Chamberlain, but instead to teammate Kieran Gibbs. Despite Oxlade-Chamberlain’s attempts to correct Marriner’s mistake, the referee stood by his decision.
Later on Saturday, Marriner apologized for his error. A Professional Game Match Officials Limited statement read:
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.
It’s unlikely this is the last to be heard regarding Marriner’s mistake. We’ll have to wait for further developments, however, to know if the Gibbs’ red will be transferred to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.