Date: 16th October 2008 at 2:45pm
Written by:

If you thought that ‘ghost goal’ official Stuart Atwell was the only blundering babyfaced ref on the FA`s fast track route to super-stardom, then think again.

Step forward 22 year old Michael Oliver, who awarded a ridiculous penalty for handball in the 1-1 draw between Brentford and Notts County down in the footballing wilderness of League 2 – even though the lino gave a corner and the offending player was no further than 2 foot from a rocket and didn`t move his arms.

What`s more even the FA have admitted that the ref was ‘wrong…without mentioning the words ‘operational advice’ or hiding behind red tape.

Well, at least the Brentford fans have had the courtesy of a half decent response to their gripes AND an apology (of sorts) from men in the middle.

On the ever so informative Brentford fan’s Griffin Park Grapevine, Bee`s super user GPGer Lokster posted a full response received after a barrage of complaints from Brentford fans seeking answers.

Here at VitalWatford we`ve pulled out the killer comments for your eyes only.

Referee’s Manager Dave Allison stated ‘?Michael [Oliver] was incorrect to award a penalty kick. Whilst the ball did strike the arm of the Brentford player, the distance and the speed of the cross meant that this could not be deemed ‘deliberate`.

As Referee manager, I have a group of coaches with whom I work closely. I can tell you that Michael`s coach has been analysing the incident with him and he now accepts that this was very harsh at best, and incorrect in Law.

He is a young Referee (22 yrs) who is a great prospect, but he will learn from this error. I know that does not help your team at the moment, but football is a human game where players as well as referees make errors?

I will be working with Michael, through his coach, in the coming weeks to revisit his interpretation of handball.”


Whatever next?

The ref is question has already taken charge of the high profile clash between Derby and Birmingham in the Championship this season?

So given this major balls-up expect to see him added to the UEFA list for international recognition shortly.