A shaven-headed Jose Mourinho turned the heat on referees’ chief Mike Riley on Friday, questioning if Chelsea will get an apology the next time they fall foul of a poor decision:
Chelsea’s last opponents, West Brom, received an apology from Riley—per BBC Sport—after Andre Marriner awarded the Blues a last-gasp penalty for what appeared a soft tumble by Ramires.
Mourinho could not help a sarcastic response in Friday’s press conference, per Hannah Duncan of Metro:
Nobody called me to apologise about the fact it was not a free-kick against West Brom for their second goal. Nobody called me to say we should have had a penalty to equalise against Everton.
If they called me to apologise for all the mistakes in my career I would have a very busy phone.
I’m curious to know if this is the start, from now on it will be the same for everybody.
Jose: 'I am curious to know if Steve Bruce got a phone call, if Chris Hughton got a phone call, if Laudrup got a phone call...' #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) November 22, 2013
Mourinho’s claim that West Brom’s second goal at Stamford Bridge should not have stood is based on his belief that Branislav Ivanovic was fouled in the buildup.
Meanwhile, the reference to the Everton game, which they lost 1-0, recalls a moment when Oscar felt he should have been awarded a spot-kick.
Was Riley wrong to apologise?
Regardless of those two incidents, Mourinho raises an extremely valid point about Riley’s decision to actively call West Brom boss Steve Clarke to apologise.
If Riley does that for West Brom, he better prepare for a lengthy phone bill after the weekend’s Premier League fixtures because every club will find reason to complain at an official.
While Ramires’ tumble was soft and almost certainly did not warrant a penalty, it also was not a clear-cut case. Contact was made, and the Brazilian’s fall looked compelling at full speed.
Compared to previous moments, such as Luis Suarez’s dive against Stoke for example, Ramires’ penalty claim was at least reasonable.
By apologising, Riley now faces the prospect of appearing extremely biased toward West Brom if he does not treat each club equally.
If a harsh red card or an inaccurate offside decision is awarded, there is every reason now for the clubs involved to name West Brom as the precedent.
Riley’s worst-case scenario now will be if Chelsea suffer a poor decision at West Ham at Saturday. Watch this space.