Jermaine Jenas accused of hypocrisy after ‘disgraceful’ criticism of Arsenal vs Tottenham referee

Jenas was slammed online after calling referee Rob Jones a ‘s**thouse’ - just weeks after fronting a grassroots football anti-abuse campaign

Jamie Braidwood
Monday 25 September 2023 12:31 BST
Postecoglou praises "outstanding" Son after 2-2 draw at Arsenal

Jermaine Jenas is facing criticism after posting online abuse at referee Rob Jones during Tottenham‘s draw with rivals Arsenal - which came just weeks after he fronted a Football Association campaign calling for officials to be shown more respect in the game.

The former Spurs and England midfielder reacted furiously when Arsenal were awarded a controversial second-half penalty at the Emirates, with referee Jones overturning his decision after a VAR review and following Cristian Romero’s handball.

Jenas posted on Twitter/X: “Complete sh**house off [sic] a referee! They’re all ruining the our [sic] game!”

The BBC pundit and One Show host was criticised by the referee charity RefSupportUK, who replied: “This is a disgraceful tweet and you should be ashamed. Your tweet encourages online abuse of referees and considering your role on TV your employers need to give their head a wobble.”

The charity also referenced the abuse suffered by English official Anthony Taylor and his family when they were harassed by Roma fans following their Europa League final defeat last season, which followed criticism of the referee by the Roma manager Jose Mourinho.

“Remember Anthony Taylor and his family were attacked at an airport because of antics such as yours,” RefSupportUK added in the post.

Meanwhile, Jenas was also accused of hypocrisy after fronting an anti-abuse campaign at the start of the season. Jenas was the face of the FA’s ‘Love Football, Protect the Game’ project in which the former England international calls for “no more abuse” in the sport.

In the campaign video, Jenas says: “The emotions of the game get to us all. I know all about that. But whether out on the pitch, in the stands or on the sidelines, we’ve all got to do better, at all levels.

“No more surrounding refs, no more abuse, no more intimidation, no more discrimination.”

In May, Premier League referee Taylor and his family were harassed by Roma fans in Budapest Airport as he and his family travelled home from the Europa League final. Mourinho had confronted Taylor and called the official a “f***ing” disgrace after the match, with the manager subsequently handed a four-game Uefa ban.

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou also criticised the decision to award Arsenal a penalty, but questioned the handball rule as opposed to making any direct comments towards the officials.

"I’ve got no idea about the handball rule. I really don’t,” he said. “I saw the one yesterday at Wolves and it just seems if it hits your hand it’s a penalty and then other times if it hits your hand, it isn’t a penalty.

"I’ve got no idea. It is the one rule in the game I just don’t understand.

"Unless we start developing armless defenders I don’t know how you are supposed to block things and be in a natural position.

"It is what it is. You kind of hope these things even themselves out over the course of a year but I don’t understand the handball rule.

"I think any clarity would be good because I have got no idea."

In a second post, Jenas denied that he would have been saying the opposite had Tottenham been awarded a penalty for a similar situation.

“I wouldn’t at all and it’ll happen to Arsenal at some point this year!” he added. “If it takes that long after watching it over and over... then it’s not a pen.”

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