'I don't like 80 percent of English referees' - Brighton boss De Zerbi

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 12 Nov 2023 18:27 GMT
  • 3 min read
Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton
© ProShots

Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi has admitted he doesn’t like “80 percent of English referees” after Mahmoud Dahoud was sent off during the Seagulls’ 1-1 draw against Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon.

De Zerbi’s side took the lead courtesy of a Simon Adingra goal in the sixth minute, but were pegged back when Adam Webster put the ball into the back of his net just five minutes after Dahoud was shown a straight red card for a foul on Ben Osborn.

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The result means Brighton have not won a Premier League game since September, with four draws and two losses in that time.

De Zerbi, who was appointed as Brighton manager when Graham Potter left to join Chelsea, did not hold back in his post-match press conference after the 1-1 draw versus Sheffield United.

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What did De Zerbi say?

"I am honest and clear, I don't like 80 percent of English referees,” De Zerbi told the media, as per The Athletic. “It's not a new thing, I don't like them.”

Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton
© ProShots - Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton

The Italian was asked why and he replied: "The behaviour, I don't like their behaviour on the pitch."

“If I see the new rules it's a red card, clear,” the Brighton boss added. "But I was a player and the dynamic of the situation wasn't a red card, but we have to accept [it]. Dahoud knows the mistake.”

He continued: "England is the only country where, when there is VAR, you are not sure the decision is right. In other countries you have to be sure the referee is 100 percent right. In England no, I'm not able to understand [that].”

It is not the first time that a Premier League manager has expressed their dissatisfaction at English referees and VAR, with Jurgen Klopp famously calling for a replay after a blatant error in Liverpool’s loss to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this season.

Brighton are now eighth in the Premier League table, with 19 points from their opening 12 games.

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