04 February 2020

Reading's Fara Williams criticises Women's Super League referees for 'ruining people's games' following controversial penalty against Manchester United

Reading midfielder Fara Williams has called on referees in the Women's Super League to improve their level of performance following a weekend of criticism.

The Royals were awarded a penalty against Manchester United after the official deemed the ball to have struck defender Katie Zelem on the arm, despite replays clearly showing she headed the ball.

And although that particular decision went the way of Williams and her side, the 36-year-old refused to ignore the poor level of refereeing in the WSL.

Speaking on The Offside Rule podcast, she said: “[We got] a penalty that probably never was. You can see from the reactions of the players that nobody appealed that handball

“That would tell the referee a little bit whether it was or it wasn’t [a penalty]. I’m not going to say to her 'No ref, it’s not a handball'.

“[Referees] don’t want to cooperate with you on the pitch. They don’t want to help you out. They don’t want to try and calm players’ frustrations because it is competitive…I feel like they’re ruining people’s games” 

Williams is unsure what can be done to improve the quality of referees within the women's game, but insists it cannot carry on the way it is going.

“I don’t know if they can bring the next level of officials into our game," she added.

“It could be a cost thing. I’m unsure what it is, but certainly the level right now…managers and players believe isn’t good enough.” 

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