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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Al Fayed hits out at authorities

The Football Association and the Premier League are pondering the next step after Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed launched a scathing attack on the bodies.

• Evans: Fulham may have had penalty
• Fulham blog: London pride

Egyptian businessman Al Fayed has demanded a review of both refereeing practices and the decision-making process. He has written to both the FA and Premier League seeking action on behalf of all clubs.

Al Fayed spoke out after Fulham recently suffered a 1-0 loss at Manchester United, where Danny Murphy was bundled over a minute from time but 27-year-old referee Michael Oliver waved away the penalty claims.

The Cottagers chairman has been frustrated by the recent inconsistencies and errors as well as the whole operation of officiating matches, which he believes are all too readily accepted by football's governing bodies.

In a statement on the club's official website, Al Fayed said: "The FA's problem in addressing this pivotal situation is that it has too much power.

"Where else can decision-makers (referees) escape all responsibility to admit serious and blatant errors and have the protesters (the football clubs involved) fined on charges of misconduct? The losses that we incur from such careless decisions have a huge impact and can have calamitous consequences.

"Referees are all too easily influenced by the more powerful clubs and individual owners which calls into question the integrity of both them and the governing body that they report to."

Al Fayed has also urged the relevant bodies to immediately embrace video technology as he believes English football is lagging behind.

"We need brave pioneers in the Premier League, the FA and within the Premier League shareholder group," he said. "In the past I wrote to highlight the need for the Premier League to lead the way with the introduction of video technology.

"After many years, it appears that the Premier League has admitted I was correct all along. It is time for the Premier League to wake up. They have been in a coma for a long time.

"Lots of clubs are suffering from such stupid decisions. Advanced technology is available and it is evidently being used in other sports. Once again I call for action to review the standard of officials, and the transparency of the processes by which referees are allocated to games."

Neither the Football Association nor the Premier League would comment on Al Fayed's views when contacted on Wednesday night.

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