A comedy of errors: a look back at some of this season’s most farcical refereeing moments

Nick Friend looks back on a year of embarrassment for Premier League referees and picks out the decisions that raised even the highest of eyebrows. 

18th August 2014: Michael Oliver – books Diego Costa for diving instead of awarding a penalty against Tom Heaton (Burnley vs Chelsea)

19th October 2014: Phil Dowd – failure to award QPR a penalty after Glen Johnson appeared to go studs up into Sandro’s stomach in the six-yard box (QPR vs Liverpool)

2nd November 2014: Neil Swarbrick – decision to send off Christian Benteke for spat with Ryan Mason (Villa vs Spurs)

3rd November 2014: Phil Dowd – fails to award Palace penalty within 30 seconds after Santiago Vergini hacks down Frazier Campbell (Palace vs Sunderland)

30th November 2014: Mike Jones – Arguably the worst decision of the season, Jones booked Sergio Aguero for diving despite being hacked down by Jose Fonte

6th December 2014: Andre Marriner – failed to send off both Fernando and Elaquim Mangala for dangerously high challenges and awarded James Milner the softest of penalties against Phil Jagielka (Man City vs Everton) 

13th December 2014: Chris Foy – fails to give Gary Cahill a second yellow card for clear dive (Chelsea vs Hull) 

20th December 2014: Lee Mason – sent off Gabby Agbonlahor for ‘foul’ on Ashley Young (Villa vs Man Utd)

28th December 2014: Anthony Taylor – booked Cesc Fabregas for diving instead of awarding penalty against Matt Targett (Southampton vs Chelsea)

28th December 2014: Neil Swarbrick – Alex Song has 35-yard volley bizarrely disallowed for offside against Andy Carroll (West Ham vs Arsenal)

28th December 2014: Craig Pawson – failure to send off Papiss Cisse for clear elbow on Seamus Coleman

28th December 2014: Kevin Friend – Failure to spot George Boyd in a clear offside position as he scores for Burnley. Game finishes 2-2 (Man City vs Burnley)

1st January 2015: Anthony Taylor – failure to send off Rob Green for deliberate handball (QPR vs Swansea)

1st January 2015: Mike Jones – decision to award penalty against Wes Morgan for handball when ball hit him square in the face (Liverpool vs Leicester City)

1st January 2015: Michael Oliver – failure to award penalty against Chris Smalling when he appeared to almost catch the ball in the area (Stoke vs Man Utd)

17th January 2015: Chris Foy – bizarre to flag Jan Vertonghen offside inside his own half when through on goal (Spurs vs Sunderland)

17th January 2015: Bobby Madley – failure to spot clear Jose Fonte handball in last minute. Denied Newcastle a penalty that could have earned an equaliser (Newcastle vs Southampton)

16th February 2015: Phil Dowd – Wayne Rooney dive vs Preston (Preston vs Man Utd)

21st February 2015: Martin Atkinson – Ashley Barnes tackle on Nemanja Matic, Barnes high boot on Ivanovic, Kightly handball in penalty area, Jason Shackell push on Diego Costa in penalty area (Chelsea vs Burnley)

Martin Atkinson
Martin Atkinson, who refereed the Europa League Final, was widely criticised for his overall display in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Burnley

28th February 2015: Roger East – sends off Wes Brown in apparent case of mistaken identity – only to wrongly defend his decision, claiming that he saw a foul by Brown on Falcao (Man Utd vs Sunderland)

7th March 2015: Craig Pawson – failure to spot handball on line from Nabil Bentaleb (QPR vs Spurs)

14th March 2015: Lee Mason – fails to spot Shaun Wright-Phillips taking a throw-in with both feet on the pitch

21st March 2015: Neil Swarbrick – decision to send off Gareth McAuley instead of Craig Dawson in case of mistaken identity

21st March 2015: Mike Dean – Nigel Pearson calls Dean ‘arrogant’ after awarding penalty against Dave Nugent for apparent foul on Danny Rose (Spurs vs Leicester City)

21st March 2015: Roger East – failure to award George Boyd clear penalty after tackle by Jose Fonte (Southampton vs Burnley)

Photograph: Wikipedia

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