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Saturday, 20th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Is it only incompetence again ? Swansea City file video evidence to EFL
Sunday, 21st Nov 2021 08:16 by Keith Haynes

Once again and exactly as per last season Swansea City find themselves in a position whereby clear and obvious penalty decisions, and in game refereeing decisions are costing the side points. Steve Cooper opened up on the issue last year accusing Andrew Woolmer of ‘cheating’ and now Russell Martin is getting the same treatment.

Surely it’s a problem ?

We saw it on three occasions last season, and it also included Oliver Langford, when we ran an article on bias. We investigated the referring decisions made at three swans games where key decisions were made that affected the score line. It became clear there were numerous decisions made by so called qualified and professional referees that had more than incompetence attached to them. Their deficiencies were laid bare. The article on bias explained why, that is of course if the referee isn’t cheating, then there has to be bias.

You choose.

Yesterday was another example of the either or situation of refereeing judgement. It wasn’t only the four penalty shouts the swans had that were waved away. Two of which seemed very genuine claims for a penalty, one was absolutely nailed on. It does get frustrating when a referee like Keith Stroud, who for me officiates Swansea City games far too often, be that from the sidelines or on the pitch can decided the outcome of a game. Yesterday his blatant incompetence, not only when having to make two clear cut penalty decisions, but in several fair challenges which were very precise displayed something more than poor judgement by Keith Stroud. Or maybe it was Keith Stroud’s poor personal judgement that led him to make very strange decisions, time and time again ?

The last seven games Stroud has officiated for the swans as the referee, none have been won by Swansea City. Ever since his incredibly questionable display at Anfield in 2014 the swans have had issues with this referee. In the last two seasons his decision making has been extremely skewed to say the least. Now the swans once again are taking it upon themselves to send video footage of the many incidents this season that have affected the score of games. They did it last year, in 2017, 2014 and now it’s happening again.

Albeit diplomatically Russell Martin explained the reasons why post match. “He ( the referee) doesn't think there's any contact for the first one," he said. "And the second one, there's 'not enough contact'. "I know James Husband very well. He's done brilliantly for them. His body language tells me everything for the second one. He's very much waiting for the whistle to be blown because he knows he's kicked him. We conceded a really poor goal and that's not on the referee," he continued. "That's on us. But I don't know what Ethan needs to do to get a penalty. Same with Bournemouth."We've got a list and compilation of videos of where we should have had penalties and we'll send it off after today. "It can't just keep happening really. "So it's frustrating. I feel like we've lost the game. I know we haven't but we have to be better. The game swung completely the other way in the second half and that shouldn't happen."

Taking the referee’s performance in isolation away from the game plans and analysis yesterday this performance ranked as low and as poor as any I have personally seen in a long time watching football. And I include the Panathinaikos European Cup Winners games in that as well as the Wales v Czechoslovakia ‘blatant’ cheating display which was exposed in 1976 in the European championships.

Keith Stroud ran yesterday’s game as he wanted to see it turn out, denying the home side any credible or fair opportunity to compete on a level playing field. He is either a cheat, incompetent or lacks the intelligence to understand his overall bias when making decisions on the football pitch. Either way it isn’t right, his decision making yesterday cost the swans the points again, and that has to be addressed now. Unfortunately we have to add ‘again’ because it continues to occur, and whilst referees like Stroud, Woolmer and Langford are allowed to get away with it the more questions will be raised by people regards their integrity.

Want to read our other referee articles from last season ?

Click below

Cooper accuses Woolmer of cheating

Why referees are biased

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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