Swansea could be reprimanded over showing big-screen replays of an incident involving Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland on Monday night. Butland escaped punishment from referee Robert Madley for his 17th-minute challenge outside the area on Andre Ayew, even though he went in studs first on the Swansea striker after his bad touch had let the ball run loose.
The incident was replayed three times from different angles on the Liberty Stadium big screens and provoked an angry reaction from Swansea supporters. Swansea could now find themselves in trouble as Barclays Premier League rules stipulate that big screens should not show controversial incidents or events which question the match officials’ judgement.
League rule 39.4.1 says: “The screen shall not be used to show action replays of negative or controversial incidents;” and rule 39.4.2 prevents “any incident which brings into question the judgement of a match official.” Clubs can be fined if they break these rules, but the Premier League have confirmed they will wait on the referee’s match report before deciding whether any action is necessary.
“If there is something in a referee’s report we will write to the club concerned, but we will not comment on a particular incident,” said a Premier League spokesperson.
Swansea do not have control of replays shown on the two big screens at the Liberty Stadium, with Preston-based company ADI choosing which footage is replayed during matches from their central hub. But Swansea have apologized to Stoke, and the club has already spoken to ADI over the matter. They say new procedures will be put in place to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
“It was human error at the central hub where pictures are controlled,” said a club spokesman.
“It was certainly not done intentionally, and new procedures will be put in place to try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Stoke manager Mark Hughes said after his side’s 1-0 victory that he was unhappy replays of the incident had been shown on the big screens:
“I didn’t appreciate the incident being shown on the videos around the stadium.
“I thought that was unnecessary.
“I wouldn’t like to think it was deliberate, because when those situations happen it causes a reaction in the crowd and we had to deal with that.”
Bojan Krkic’s early penalty settled the contest as Stoke secured their third consecutive Premier League victory and their first back-to-back top flight away wins since December 2011.
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