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European honours 2014-15

European news
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By ESPN Staff

Apologetic Styles dropped after Anfield chaos

Rob Styles has apologised to Liverpool after admitting he was wrong to award a penalty to Chelsea during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

The match official has accepted he made a mistake in penalising Steve Finnan and as a result he will not be given a match to referee this weekend.

Styles said: 'All referees enter into matches hoping not to make any mistakes but understanding that they may happen, what none of us want is for any mistake to potentially affect the result of the match.

'Yesterday, in mistakenly awarding a penalty, I accept that I may have affected the result of the match and for that I apologise.'

Styles awarded Chelsea a penalty which enabled the Blues to equalise even though Finnan appeared to make no contact with Florent Malouda.

Referees' chief Keith Hackett said officials had to be accountable for mistakes.

He said: 'We have in place systems that will analyse each decision a referee makes.

'Referees are aware of the accountability that exists, as are the managers and players, and we expect referees to get big decisions correct.

'On this occasion it was wrong and therefore Rob will not be officiating next weekend.

'I spoke to Rob this morning and obviously he is extremely disappointed with the decision and admitted he got it wrong. I have left a message with Rafael Benitez to apologise.'

Hackett also confirmed another mistake by a match official when assistant referee Ian Gosling did not award Fulham a late goal at home to Middlesbrough when David Healy clearly forced the ball over the line.

He added: 'Clearly the assistant referee has made an error, so he won't be operating next week for us either.'

The Premier League are to press ahead with trials on goal-line technology being developed by the company Hawkeye.

Hackett said: 'It is still in its testing stage but we hope when it is judged to be fail-safe then it will be used.

'Everyone in football recognises that goal-line systems can provide help for the referee to make his decision.'

Meanwhile, Hackett will also ensure there is no repeat of the confusion when Styles appeared to book Michael Essien when instead he was still showing the card to John Terry.

Hackett added: 'I'm informed by both the fourth official and Rob he retained the card shown to John Terry then held the card to indicate a direct free-kick, and failed to put the card away. So it was a basic, if you like, admin error as against an error in application of law.

'We'll look at the video to ensure we don't get a repeat of that.'