My comments were ‘rational’: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez to appeal FA charge over referee tirade

By Dean Wilkins

Roberto Martinez was ‘rational’ in his comments about the referee and is set to appeal against his FA charge, the Wigan boss claimed today.

Martinez was furious at decisions made against his team in their 4-0 thumping at Manchester United on September 15, and slammed Michael Oliver’s penalty call as ‘shocking’.

He was also adamant that Danny Welbeck should have been sent off for a challenge on Franco di Santo, and suggested that Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are given an unfair advantage by officials at Old Trafford.

The FA charged Martinez with improper conduct and he has until 4pm to appeal the decision.

“I have to look into it because I never questioned the integrity of the referee,” Martinez said.

“I don’t know really which comments are the ones for the charge but I’ll look into it and we’ll take it from there.

“The charge must be based in certain quotes and I think it will be a good opportunity to explain myself. I need to find out first what are the quotes or the lines that have been charged on.

“I can understand that sometimes things can be taken out of context. I was rational, it wasn’t an emotional burst. I think it was a very rational comment that I would like to explain.”

But the Latics chief remained respectful of the FA’s decision to look into the comments and eventually charge him, yet he insists that his team were on the wrong end of two poor judgements.

“I am sure they are not going to charge for the sake of it,” he added. “There must be a reason behind it and I need to see their point and have time then to express mine.

“I can remember my points in the press conference and I can remember the analysis of the game and I have huge respect for the referee Michael Oliver and would never question his integrity.

“But it is true we were on the wrong end of two big decisions and that’s something you have to comment on at the end of a game.”

During a post-match interview, Martinez said: “I have come to United three times before today and for whatever reason we don’t seem to be measured in the same manner as the team at home.

“Today the penalty is as bad a decision as you are going to see in the Premier League.

“In many ways, you feel as though you are fighting against a mountain.

“There were tackles flying around that if they had been the other way round there would have been a couple of red cards.”

Commenting on Welbeck’s challenge, Martinez attacked it as ‘completely reckless’ and said it warranted a sending off.

“It is a red card, for a Wigan player, Manchester United, everyone,” he said.

An FA spokesman said: “The charge is in relation to an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 concerning media comments which implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general are motivated by bias and/or brought the game into disrepute.”

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