Andre Marriner, the referee who sent off the wrong Arsenal player on Saturday, is devastated by his mistake. Marriner made the biggest refereeing blunder of recent times when he sent off Kieran Gibbs after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball in the Arsenal area. Marriner’s closest friends say he has been deeply affected by the incident during the 6-0 away loss to Chelsea and is still struggling to come to terms with how he could have made such a mistake. Marriner was handling the Stamford Bridge clash alongside assistant referees Scott Ledger and Marc Perry, with Anthony Taylor as fourth official, and he appeared to consult one of his assistants before awarding the penalty.
Referee Andre Marriner has apologised for sending off Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs by mistake during the Gunners' 6-0 defeat by league leaders Chelsea. A penalty was awarded after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tipped Eden Hazard's shot around a post with his hand but Gibbs was shown the red card. Oxlade-Chamberlain seemed to tell Marriner that he was the culprit but the original decision stood. A statement read that Marriner was "disappointed" to have made the error. Referees' body the Professional Game Match Officials Limited said in the statement: "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." Left-back Gibbs seemed confused at receiving the red card, protesting his innocence, along with his team-mates, before leaving the field. Hazard's shot was heading inches wide of goal before Oxlade-Chamberlain dived to his left to divert the ball with his fingertips.
Former top-level British and World Cup referee Clive Thomas, who said in 2012 he had lost faith in modern officials, believes the four in charge of Saturday's game should be banned for the rest of the season. "It's the most disgusting, shocking decision I've seen. In my opinion these four wouldn't officiate another Premier League game this season," the 77-year-old Welshman told BBC Radio 5 live. Thomas officiated at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany and the tournament in Argentina four years later, where he is remembered for disallowing a Zico headed goal for Brazil in a group game against Sweden by blowing for full-time while a corner ball was still in mid-air.
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher defended Marriner: "Andre made a genuine mistake and that's all it was," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "Unless one of his officials can call him over and say you got the wrong player, which did not happen, he has to go on what he thought was correct. You cannot rely on players then trying to say 'I did this'. He made the decision in good faith and should not be stood down - he is one of the leading referees in Europe and his confidence would be shattered. Whenever he goes back the focus will inevitably be on him".
Source: BBC / Daily Mail / Telegraph