Wigan manager Roberto Martinez fined for referee ‘bias’ comments

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has been fined £10,000 by the Football Association after he accused referee Michael Oliver of being biased.

 

Martinez had claimed Oliver ‘had not measured both teams the same way” in their match against Manchester United on 15 September.

 

The Latics boss had previously defended his comments as “rational”.

 

But he was fined and warned about his future conduct after admitting a charge of misconduct.

Speaking after Wigan’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester United earlier this month, Martinez claimed Danny Welbeck had dived to win a penalty. He also said Welbeck and Paul Scholes should have been sent off for tackles.

He said: “In many ways, you feel as though you are fighting against a mountain.

“There were tackles flying around that, if they had been the other way round, there would have been a couple of red cards.

“Michael Oliver is a very capable referee, who has been outstanding in many big games, but it was clear from the opening minutes that he was not going to measure both teams the same way.”

Speaking last week, Martinez said he was deciding whether to contest the charge. “I have to look into it because I never questioned the integrity of the referee,” Martinez said.

“I was rational – it wasn’t an emotional burst. I think it was a very rational comment that I would like to explain.”

The FA said: “The charge was in relation to a breach of FA Rule E3 concerning media comments which implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general are motivated by bias and/or brought the game into disrepute.

“Martinez, who had requested a personal hearing, was also warned as to his future conduct.”