West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has confirmed media reports that the club has received an official apology from referee chief Mike Riley.
Chelsea were awarded late penalty which proved decisive in denying the Baggies a famous win at Stamford Bridge when the two sides met on November 9.
West Brom were leading Chelsea 2-1 going into added time when a seemingly innocuous collision between Steven Reid and Ramires resulted in referee Andre Marriner pointing to the spot, and Eden Hazard converted the spot-kick to salvage a 2-2 draw for the Blues.
This of course is not the first apology that West Brom have received from a match official this season.
England’s top official Howard Webb issued an apology to Clarke three weeks ago after denying them a penalty for a foul by Stoke City’s Charlie Adam on Youssouf Mulumbu, a decision which ensured that the game remained goalless.
“We’ve had a phone call from Mike Riley to apologise,” said Clarke. “It doesn’t get us any more points but it’s nice of Mike to phone. If he’s apologizing, he obviously feels it was the wrong decision. We have to put it behind us now and move forward.”
The manager has also confirmed that the club has sent a letter to the Premier League and to PGMOL, complaining about four penalty decisions that have gone against them so far in the league this season.
Clarke said the purpose of the letter was to provoke discussion as to whether match officials should be assisted in making key decisions during matches, a move which would help “improve the game.”
“The purpose of the letter is to provoke discussion,” he added. “It’s…a discussion between everyone and the authorities to see if there is a way we can improve the game. That’s my understanding of the basis of the letter-it’s no more than that.”
“If we can improve it, good, if we can’t improve it then we’ll stick with what we’ve got. But let’s talk about it.”
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