Riley 'personally apologises to Kenwright and Lampard'

Everton are handed an APOLOGY from the Premier League, as refs’ chief Mike Riley calls Frank Lampard to say sorry for denying them a penalty against Man City after a string of other questionable calls

  • Man City midfielder Rodri appeared to escape an apparent handball call 
  • Referee Paul Tierney and VAR Chris Kavanagh failed to penalise infringement 
  • Everton reportedly lodged a formal complaint and asked for apology to club 
  • Reports now suggest Bill Kenwright and Frank Lampard have received apology 

Referees chief Mike Riley has apologised to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and boss Frank Lampard after they were denied a penalty at the weekend.

The Toffees were left furious in their 1-0 defeat at home by Manchester City on Saturday when midfielder Rodri appeared to escape an apparent handball call, with both the on-field officials and VAR deciding not to penalise the infringement.

Reports on Monday claimed Everton lodged a consequent formal complaint, while also asking for an apology to Lampard and his squad in the wake of the controversy.

Bill Kenwright (left) and Frank Lampard (centre) have reportedly received apologies after Everton were denied a penalty

Man City midfielder Rodri handled the ball, but the referee nor VAR penalised the infringement

But now Riley – the general manager of the Professional Game Match Official Limited – has personally called the club to apologise for his organisation’s shortcomings on Merseyside. 

Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton’s chief executive offer meanwhile also expressed ‘grave concerns’ over the standard of the refereeing in other Everton matches this season, according to The Athletic. 

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey escaped with just a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Anthony Gordon during Everton’s 3-1 defeat at St James Park’ last month.

Lampard said after the game: ‘It wasn’t a nice challenge. It’s not worth reflecting too much on it. It’s somewhere around a red.

Everton were also unhappy with Jonjo Shelvey’s strong challenge on Anthony Gordon

The Toffees were also unhappy Southampton’s Oriol Romeu escaped a penalty appeal

‘It was definitely an endangering the safety of a player tackle and that’s normally the parameter they go by.’

The Toffees were also thought to be enraged by the call not to award a penalty against Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu for a potential handball in their 2-0 defeat at St Mary’s 10 days ago. 

But the final decision in the Rodri handball appeal prevented Everton from having the chance to equalise just a few minutes after Phil Foden had broken the deadlock for the visitors. 

During the incident, Rodri appeared to control the ball with his arm, with the contact coming below the so-called ‘t-shirt’ line.

This is the rule the top-flight introduced to attempt to provide clarity over handball decisions – although referee Paul Tierney did not spot the moment of contact. 

But the club have now received an apology from PGMOL chief Mike Riley over the incident

The decision went back to the VAR hub at Stockley Park, but Chris Kavanagh decided the handball was not worthy of another look by Tierney on the pitchside monitor. 

After the game, Lampard accused VAR official Kavanagh of ‘incompetence at best’. 

In an explosive outburst, the ex-Chelsea boss said: ‘We’ve lost a point by a professional who can’t do his job right,’ Lampard said. ‘It’s incompetence at best. At worst, who knows? 

‘That’s Chris Kavanagh. It’s completely on Chris. The referee [Paul Tierney] on the day knows it was a penalty. [But] he couldn’t see it. 

The hosts furiously appealed for a penalty to be awarded, and later aired their grievances

A large message was displayed on the screen at Goodison Park to confirm the decision

‘The decision is incredible, incredible that loses us the opportunity to get what we deserved. It wouldn’t have needed more than five seconds to know it was a penalty. He should have told the referee to give it or to look at it. 

‘They have not given that as a penalty when it strikes him on the arm, in an unnatural position. I have a three-year-old daughter at home who could tell you that was a penalty.’  

Everton’s defeat and Burnley’s draw at Crystal Palace means the Toffees are now sat just one point above the relegation zone.

They will be distracted from such concerns in midweek when they face National League outfit Boreham Wood in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Thursday, before returning to top-flight action on Monday at Tottenham. 

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