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Mohamed Al Fayed launches attack on Premier League referees

Al Fayed attacks Premier League referees, demanding wholesale reform



21:31 GMT, 11 April 2012

Fury: Al Fayed

Fury: Al Fayed

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has
launched a scathing attack on referees, claiming they are influenced by
'the more powerful Premier League clubs'.

Fayed has spoken out after Fulham
recently suffered a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United, where Danny Murphy
was fouled by Michael Carrick in the penalty area a minute from time
only for 27-year-old referee Michael Oliver to ignore penalty claims.

The Cottagers chairman has been
frustrated by the inconsistencies and errors which he believes are too
readily accepted by football's governing bodies. Fayed, who has written
to the Football Association and the Premier League calling for a review,
said: 'The FA's problem in addressing this pivotal situation is that it
has too much power.

Fury: Martin Jol points the finger at Michael Carrick following Fulham's narrow defeat at Old Trafford

Anger: Martin Jol points the finger at Michael Carrick following Fulham's narrow defeat at Old Trafford

'Where else can decision-makers
(referees) escape all responsibility to admit serious and blatant errors
and have the protesters (the football clubs involved) fined on charges
of misconduct

'Referees are too easily influenced
by the more powerful clubs and individual owners. It calls into question
the integrity of them and the governing body they report to.'

Calling for video technology to be
used, Fayed added: 'Once again I call for action to review the standard
of officials, and the transparency of the processes by which referees
are allocated to games.'

West Brom 4 Sunderland 0: Match Zone

Hodgson's handling of Odemwingie proves he has mettle for England role

What would happen if neither Harry Redknapp nor Stuart Pearce took the England job

Well, the Football Association would be in a fix, certainly.

But the probability is that it wouldn't be for long. There is an alternative.

In a professional career that has spanned 35 years, Roy Hodgson has now repaired the damage done to his reputation while at Liverpool while all but confirming another year's stay in the Premier League for West Bromwich Albion.

Rich pickings: Peter Odemwingie has been red hot of late

Rich pickings: Peter Odemwingie has been red hot of late

Four unanswered goals at the Hawthorns left Hodgson in self-congratulatory mood, confirming to the assembled media afterwards that he believes the Baggies need no longer look over their shoulders.

With an unsigned contract to hand – the current one runs out in three months – if the decision-makers at Wembley want an experienced alternative at no cost, then Hodgson, surely, must be worth an interview.

His treatment of Peter Odemwingie is a case in point. The Nigerian forward was on the end of a tongue-lashing three months ago – Hodgson claiming the club had 'got nothing' from him since he was awarded a bumper pay deal last summer.

During the January transfer window, the Baggies' striker sought a meeting. Since then, his form has steadily improved to the point where he has now claimed five goals in his last two games.

Options: Could Roy Hodgson take the England role

Options: Could Roy Hodgson take the England role

'Maybe it was his psychology,” said Odemwingie, 'I learned something from the situation.

'Did it spur me on Maybe he had something in mind when we had this, shall we say, “situation”.

'I went to see him. He said I had a lot to offer and that I shouldn't take my anger and frustration out on him.

'We needed to clear the air. But I do want to say that it was a fitness thing. I am the total opposite of a player who doesn't want to play through pain.

'The doctor here knows that. I love the Premier League too much to even miss a game against the lowest team. I never want to miss a match.

'I didn't play one week and my mum was on the phone saying: “What's the matter with you”

'She may be in Moscow but she watches all of West Brom's games on the national football channel.

'And if I'm not playing, she wants to know why!'

match zone

Billy Sharp: Barnsley reject claims of vile taunts

Barnsley director rejects claim Sharp was taunted with vile chants about dead son

Barnsley director Don Rowing has blamed 'mindless mischief-makers' for posting allegations on Twitter that some of the club's fans taunted Doncaster striker Billy Sharp with sickening chants during Monday's derby clash.

Barnsley fans have been accused of directing vile chants towards Sharp about the death of his two-day-old son in October during the game at the Keepmoat Stadium, which Doncaster won 2-0.

The Sheffield-born striker, 25, later said on Twitter that he did not hear the chants, while it was alleged on a Barnsley forum that one young fan was responsible.

Message: Sharp was allegedly targeted by Barnsley fans

Message: Sharp was allegedly targeted by Barnsley fans


If you were at yesterday's game, get in touch with Sportsmail and tell us if you heard any of the alleged vile chanting aimed at Billy Sharp.

Post your comments in the section below…

But Rowing is not convinced any such comments were made and blamed Twitter users for stirring up trouble.

Rowing said: 'I went to the game with other directors of Barnsley Football Club and senior management and I can assure you neither I, nor any other person I was with, heard any such comments.

'The social media network provides a platform for mindless mischief-makers. This is where we're heading nowadays, we're going to get 'Twittergation'.

'There are people who post as other people, they're not accountable for what they say.

'I don't think people are cruel enough to have actually made those comments at the game.

Reaction: Sharp's response to the alleged abuse

Reaction: Sharp's response to the alleged abuse

'I think this is a case of someone having an axe to grind with someone else and putting the initial post up on Twitter that certain comments were made.

'Common sense has to prevail here. The alleged comments were never heard by the person they were intended for and certainly not heard by me nor anyone else I was with.

'Now if any of our fans did hear any of these alleged chants and want to identify any individuals we will obviously take the necessary action. We're quite happy to do that.

'We would take strong action. But I believe our fans behaved impeccably yesterday.'

Sharp tweeted after the game: 'I didn't hear anything apart from…fat Sheffield reject, but I proved I wasn't fat for the first goal.'

Shortly afterwards Sharp added: 'But if there was a few people chanting that then I hope you're proud of yourself, but i cant imagine anyone being so disrespectful.'

The allegations come with the new year just days old and after a controversial 2011 that was scarred by shocking chants against Manchester United fans and racism and sexism rows.

Sharp, who dedicated a goal to his son three days after he died, used to play for Barnsley's rivals Sheffield United.

Tragedy: Sharp's son died in October

Tragedy: Sharp's son died in October

Earlier a fan had tweeted: 'I hope the Barnsley fans are ashamed of themselves, disgraceful behaviour towards Billy Sharp today…'

Another wrote: 'Some Barnsley FC fans are disgraceful. They were chanting sick stuff at Sheffield utds Billy Sharp about his baby that passed away. SICK!'

One Barnsley fan confirmed on a Barnsley forum that a song was directed at Sharp but added that a young person was responsible. They also called for the individual in question to be banned from watching football.

'It was 1 lad singing it and he soon got put in his place, the kid was sat not far behind me, hopefully he will be found and made to apologise to him and also get a ban from football, but it wasn't barnsley fans it was a fan, who as far as i care is not associated with barnsley fc and barnsley as a town and never will be.'