Neil Warnock calls for Mike Riley to stand down from referees association
Still clearly frustrated by the events in South Wales over the weekend, Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has continued his feud with the Premier League officials.
Speaking on Talk Sport, the 70-year-old was in no mood for reflection as he now turned his attention on referees’ chief Mark Riley calling for the former official to resign from his position.
With a hefty fine from the FA looming, Warnock also revealed on Monday morning that his wife said she would have had no problem with him ‘thumping’ referee Craig Pawson and his assistants after their string of mistakes on Sunday.
The Bluebirds were leading Chelsea 1-0 until Cesar Azpilicueta’s 84th-minute header was allowed to stand despite the Spanish international standing several yards offside.
Maurizio Sarri’s side went on to complete a comeback, winning 2-1 thanks to a Ruben Loftus-Cheek winner in injury time.
“That could be the decision that costs us everything!”
“Referees are not educated enough at the top level.”
“Is this payback for all the times I have shouted at fourth officials!?”
You have to take 5 minutes out of your day to hear this incredible Neil Warnock interview! ?? pic.twitter.com/i5rh5MBYgH
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 1, 2019
Warnock calls for Riley to resign
Branding the Premier League officials as “the worst in the world” during his post-match rant with Sky Sports, Warnock believes that the continued problems this season stem back to one man.
He described Riley as “like a robot” when he was a referee and claimed the head of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) “did not know anything about the game”.
Warnock said that Premier League referees need better coaching — but said that will not happen until Riley steps down from his role.
“We are having too many honest mistakes. They should have better coaching. Mike Riley, he is in charge of the referees. As a referee, he was like a robot. He had no feeling, he did not know anything about the game. He knew the laws. Like Bill Shankly used to say, you know the law but do not know the game. That was Mike Riley. And he is training all these coaches [of officials] now, they are all the same now.
“I think Craig Pawson is a good referee. But for whatever reason he does not see the decisions or is not coached to see what is a foul because he is stood in perfect positions. I do not think they are educated enough at the top level. I do not think things will change until Riley goes, which is very unlikely because he is rooted so far in.”
After very publically pointing out his annoyance to both the fourth official and Sarri following Azpilicueta’s offside strike, Warnock walked on to the pitch at the end of the game and stared at Pawson and the two assistant referees before they left the pitch.
Warnock was further angered when Antonio Rudiger was shown only a yellow card despite taking down Kenneth Zohore as last man and many believing he deserved to see red.
Although the 70-year-old confirmed that the linesman had apologized to him following the match, Warnock has shown no signs of accepting that apology anytime soon.
While Warnock might be involved in an off-field battle with the Premier League’s officials, his side still find themselves firmly at the heart of a relegation battle.
With their highly-controversial 2-1 loss on Sunday seeing them still sat five points adrift of safety, the former QPR boss also remarkably revealed that he will “probably play the Under-23s” against Manchester City on Wednesday night.
“We keep getting knock-backs. I will probably play the U23s on Wednesday against Manchester City and try to keep it down to 10 or 11.
“It doesn’t matter who you play at the minute, it is who has a flag in his hand and who has a whistle.”
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