Women's Sport: Manchester United Women's Head Coach Casey Stoney slams WSL referees

Off the back of a controversial refereeing decision that awarded Reading a penalty against Manchester United, Red Devil’s manager Casey Stoney has criticised the quality of officiating in the Women’s Super League.

United were 1-0 up at half-time through Lauren James against Reading, but a moment of madness occurred when Reading was awarded a controversial penalty that led to the game-ending as a 1-1 draw. 

This penalty was the second of the game for the Royals – they’re first from Fara Williams was saved from Mary Earps. However, after the referee deemed Stoney’s captain Katie Zelem handled the ball, Williams had another chance to score from 12-yards – she converted well – blasting the ball into the top left corner.

“I will keep harping on about referees until it’s improved because we’ve got a professional game and amateur referees, it doesn’t work. Said Stoney.

“Why do we bother? We’ve had three games in a week, the detail that we go into to prepare a game plan, to train them, to make sure they can execute, why do we bother? Why do we bother going into that much detail, putting that much into the players, the players working so hard when we come here and that’s what they get and that’s the level of performance from the referee? The players deserve more.” 

The club also fell foul to a controversial decision against Manchester City in their FA Cup clash against Manchester City on January 25.

“We’re angry, really, really, really angry because that’s not what we deserved. At this level that’s not a mistake you should be making as a referee.

“I’m really proud of my players, three tough games in a week, they deserved more out of the game today, they matched their physicality, really had a battle on their hands, and did everything I needed of them but when they are gifted goals every week by the officials it’s very difficult to play against.

“I know people keep saying I keep moaning about the referees but there’s a reason. It’s quite clear there’s a reason. We’re a professional game with amateur referees and my players are getting let down. It’s not acceptable,” she added.

United will face Chelsea on February 9 and currently sit fourth in the WSL table.

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