Belfast Telegraph

FA to probe Wigan manager Martinez over 'disgusting' comment

By Ben Rumsby

Roberto Martinez is today waiting to discover if he will face a Football Association charge for his outspoken attack on assistant referee Dave Bryan and officials in general after Wigan's unlucky 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday.

The FA will examine the Wigan manager's comments in which he branded Bryan's performance as "disgusting" and "horrific".

A furious Martinez claimed his side had been "robbed" by Bryan's failure to chalk off both Chelsea goals, which replays proved were scored from offside positions. Without naming Bryan, the Spaniard absolved referee Mike Jones of blame and questioned the competence of his assistant to make "easy calls", going on to suggest "little Wigan" had been treated unfairly by officials on several other occasions.

The FA may elect to write to Martinez to ask him to explain his comments before deciding whether to charge the 38-year-old. Wigan were twice set for a deserved draw before each of Chelsea's controversial goals, substitute Mohamed Diame brilliantly cancelling out Branislav Ivanovic's blatantly offside opener before Juan Mata's marginally offside 93rd-minute winner prevented them climbing out of the bottom three for the first time in four months.

Martinez, whose side had given themselves a chance of another great escape from relegation with back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Stoke, said: "Psychologically, we have been from one extreme to another because, obviously, you get out of the bottom three and you do it by doing well against Chelsea. And now the other extreme is the dressing room is feeling very down because we have done really well and we haven't got a reward. It's not an accident that we nearly got a result. The last eight games, we have been playing very well.

"We won at Liverpool when, fortunately, we had a strong referee. It's a very sad moment for us. I go to a lot of football and I don't want to go to a game and see that the wrong calls are given so clearly."

It does not get any easier for Wigan, who host Manchester United on Wednesday. But goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, who was outstanding on Saturday, insisted that Wigan would stay up if they managed to perform as they had at Stamford Bridge.

Belfast Telegraph


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