Women's Sports: Casey Stoney speaks out against referees in WSL

Casey Stoney

Manchester United's head coach Casey Stoney spoke out on the level of refereeing in the WSL following her sides away defeat to Chelsea.

Manchester United lost 0-1 to a Chelsea side that returned to the top of the table, just one point clear of Manchester City. 

A contentious Mjelde penalty was the difference between the two sides and head coach Stoney was unimpressed by the umpires' decision.

Stoney slammed referee Jack Packman's awarding of a penalty after he deemed Millie Turner challenged Fran Kirby illegally. Stoney protested Turner had won the ball and so a penalty should not have been awarded.

“I’ll get fined if I said what I want to say,” but added, “we are a professional game. We have to address the level of refereeing. We work hard week in, week out.

"My players are honest, hard-working, driven - they deserve better than that. It was a 90-minute poor performance. He has apologised but that’s too late.

“I’m annoyed I have to talk about the poor officiating when we should be talking about the crowds, the quality of the game, the speed of the game, the outstanding play," Stoney said.

United was promoted to the WSL this season after winning the title in their first season in the Championship. However, this is not their first loss by a close margin as they have lost 1-0 to three of the WSL's leading sides: Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Beth England, the Chelsea and England striker reinforced Stoney's disappointment in the refereeing.

“It’s not OK. Where is the protection for the players? The decisions, for me, were embarrassing. We want to put in good performances and, when referees are giving bad decisions that are killing the game, it's hard. 

Manchester City v Manchester United - Barclays FA Women's Super League

"I hope that they will watch the game and look at how badly they did. I thought they were appalling today," England said.

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