Mick McCarthy has publicly criticised the referee from last night’s match against Wigan, but he’s not alone – Wigan boss Paul Jewell has joined him.
McCarthy hinted that he will appeal to the FA against Julio Arca’s dismissal just before half time for a second bookable offence, when referee Ray Olivier yellow-carded the Argentinian for allegedly diving when tackled by Wigan’s Jimmy Bullard.
Olivier was loudly booed off the pitch at half time and had a police escort to his dressing room – McCarthy followed closely behind, trying to remonstrate with the official.
McCarthy said afterwards, “It was never a sending off. I have seen the video and I have asked the referee to have a look at it.
“If the decision is not rescinded then there is something seriously, seriously wrong in this game of football.
“The ref said Julio was looking at him for a foul – which of course he was, because their player had only taken both his legs out and not got the ball!
. I have to be careful in what I say because I only make it worse. So I’m trying to avoid getting myself into trouble. I’m skint and I can ill-afford the fine.
“But there again he has sent the wrong lad off for them which is a shame it has come to this.”
What McCarthy was referring to was Olivier’s decision to red-card the Latics’ Jason de Vos when he should have been sending off Ian Breckin.
De Vos had earlier scored the opening goal for Wigan but was bizarrely sent off in what looked like a case of mistaken identity; Ian Breckin fouled Stewart Downing in the area but referee Olivier then sent off the Latics’ De Vos.
Wigan boss Paul Jewell said today that de Vos asked Olivier why he was being sent off, and got the reply that it was for the foul. “I suppose it’s an easy mistake to make,” Jewell continued. “After all, Jason has a different number on his back and is five inches taller with a captain’s arm band on…. But you had better ask Stevie Wonder.
“I don’t want to say too much but I just wish we didn’t have to spend so much time talking about referees.
“People have to be held accountable for their mistakes; if my team perform badly I’ll get the sack eventually, if a player plays badly he’ll get dropped but I’ll bet that tonight’s referee is in charge of a game on Saturday. Something about that isn’t right.”
Jewell echoed McCarthy’s sentiments and said there was “a fair chance” that Wigan would also appeal their man’s dismissal.
Olivier, from Sutton Coldfield, had refereed only six matches this season prior to last night’s fixture, with only one of those being a first division fixture (Reading v Forest in August). Prior to last night he had shown 15 yellow cards but no reds – but five of those yellows were in Luton’s 1-0 defeat of Chesterfield last Saturday.