Jordan slams Brighton boss De Zerbi for ‘ridiculous’ comments about English referees

Joe Williams
Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi
Roberto de Zerbi is shown a yellow card by the referee.

Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi has been criticised by former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan for his comments about English referees following his side’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield United on Sunday.

Simon Adingra had put the Seagulls ahead with a brilliant solo run but the game changed on Mahmoud Dahoud’s red card in the 69th minute.

Midfielder Dahoud stamped on Ben Osborn’s Achilles, with Adam Webster putting through his own goal moments later to take the Blades off the bottom of the table for the first time since September 23.

De Zerbi, who was also booked for his touchline antics, did not disagree with the red card shown by John Brooks but said: “I am honest and clear… I don’t like 80 per cent of English referees.

“That isn’t a new opinion. I don’t like them. I don’t like their behaviour on the pitch.

“England is the only country where when there is VAR, you are not sure that the decision is right. In other countries, you have to be sure 100 per cent that the decision taken is right. In England, no, and I am not able to understand.”

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And Jordan has labelled the Brighton boss’ comments as “ridiculous” especially considering the fact he agreed with the referee’s decision to send Dahoud off.

Jordan said on talkSPORT: “If you’re going to do an interview with a manager after a game, and one of the subject matters is going to be about refereeing decisions that have been controversial, then it has to be priced in that there is going to be an element of dissent in that.

“It’s how far that dissent goes, where that dissent doesn’t go, or shouldn’t be allowed to go, is to turn around and say that our refereeing standards are substandard to the rest of Europe.

“Because you don’t have any empirical evidence to support that, you’re not managing in any of those leagues, you’re just making assertions.

“You can’t really have a grown up manager turn around and say, ‘I don’t like 80 per cent of English referees’.

“Have you encountered 80 per cent of English referees and why are you making this statement – specifically on the back of a situation where in fact the issue of controversy is one you agree with.

“I think it’s ridiculous, and again I come to the point which is, this is not really about singling out referees, this is about singling out the authority that officialdom is trying to reclaim the game.”