It’s not easy being a Premier League referee, with the key decisions regularly determining the outcome of a match. This was certainly the case at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Rob Styles pointing to the penalty spot after J-Lloyd Samuel had fairly tackled Cristiano Ronaldo in the area. The arbiter had a bird’s eye view of the challenge, making his decision to award the home team a spot-kick all the more baffling.
The Daily Mail report that Styles is at least showing some remorse after his howler, asking a governing body to pass on his regret to Bolton Wanderers. Not that it will make things any better for the Lancashire club, who had been holding their own against the champions up until the decision was made.
Bolton are set to receive an apology from referee Rob Styles for the astonishing penalty mistake he made at Old Trafford.
The official has asked his superiors at his governing body, the PGMOL, to pass on his regret at awarding Manchester United a spot-kick when Cristiano Ronaldo was clearly tackled fairly by Jlloyd Samuel on Saturday.
It is the second time in just over a year that Styles has had to apologise for a penalty error after pointing to the spot at Anfield in August last season when Liverpool full back Steve Finnan collided with Chelsea’s Florent Malouda.
Should we continue to operate on the basis that ‘referees are only human’ and that mistakes will happen which supposedly even themselves out over time? Or does something have to be done to avoid unfair decisions which often have a direct bearing on a match?