Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas has apologized for calling referee Robert Jones a “complete fool” during Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal.
The 40-year-old, now a TV pundit and presenter, took to social media during the thrilling 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium after the Gunners were awarded a controversial penalty, sparking backlash from other users.
Responding to the criticism on Monday, Jenas wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Hands up, I was wrong yesterday.
I hold my hands up, I made a mistake yesterday. I should know more than anyone the responsibility we have as fans, players and pundits, and the impact our words can have online, as this is the area in which I speak out.
— Jermaine Jenas (@jjenas8) September 25, 2023
“I should know more than anyone the responsibility we have as fans, players and pundits, and the impact our words can have online, as this is the area in which I speak out.
“My emotions got the better of me and I apologize to the FA and all match officials.”
Jenas’ first post came after the video assistant referee advised Jones to take another look at the incident, which saw the ball hit Spurs defender Christian Romero’s arm from close range.
The referee initially did not award a penalty, but did so after review, and Bukayo Saka promptly kicked the spot-kick to make it 2-1 to the home side, although Heung-Min Son almost immediately equalized to ensure the game ended level. .
Jenas, who was part of the FA, Premier League and EFL’s ‘Love Football, Protect the Game’ campaign ahead of the new season, wrote: ‘Complete bullshit with no referee! They’re all ruining our game!”
The charity Ref Support UK accused Jenas of encouraging abuse of match officials.
The organization said on X: “This is a disgraceful tweet and you should be ashamed. Your tweet encourages online abuse of judges, and given your role on television, your employers will have their heads turned.
“Remember, Anthony Taylor and his family were attacked at the airport because of antics like yours.”