Swansea boss Paul Clement called ref chief Mike Riley to support Anthony Taylor

Paul Clement
Swansea City boss Paul Clement called for video technology to be introduced after their 3-2 win against Burnley

Swansea boss Paul Clement has revealed he called referees' chief Mike Riley to show support for ref Anthony Taylor.

Taylor awarded a penalty against the Swans in their 3-2 victory over Burnley despite the offence being committed by Burnley's Wales striker Sam Vokes.

Clement feels it is impossible to blame officials for mistakes while they are unable to utilise video technology.

"I think they've got a thankless task sometimes because the thing is, not all players are honest," he said.

The International Football Association Board discussed whether to introduce video technology last week.

Clement believes Barcelona's incredible 6-1 Champions League victory against PSG highlighted the difficulties for officials in making instant decisions.

"With the speed of the game they [players] can fool a referee into giving a decision. I don't think that was necessarily the case in the games that we've had though," he explained.

"I think if you look at the two penalties for Barcelona against PSG, in my opinion looking at those, the one on Neymar is a penalty, but Suarez cons the referee - that's not a penalty.

"But the referee clearly thinks it is. He doesn't have the help to be able to look back at that, he's calling it in real time, so it's very, very difficult.

"Mike told me that Anthony knew he had made a mistake and he apologised for doing that. I said he did not have to apologise as it does not matter. That was the only thing in the game [he got wrong]."

Sam Vokes
Burnley's Sam Vokes appeared to handle the ball as they were awarded a penalty against Swansea City

"It wasn't to have a go"

Clement says he wanted to make clear he admires Taylor as a referee despite being disappointed by decisions going against Swansea in recent games.

"I actually called Mike Riley, but it wasn't to have a go - actually on the contrary," he said.

"Maybe I would have felt differently if the result had gone against us.

"It's easier to do this kind of thing when you've won the game and the decision that hurt you didn't hurt you as bad as it could have.

"So I called Mike and said Anthony had spoken to me at half-time and said that he called the decision in an honest way. I said to him: 'I don't think you would have done it in any other way, but the fact is you got it wrong and it's a big decision.'

"So I was very disappointed. But I called Mike afterwards and said: 'I don't believe that he did anything different to calling it honestly, and he made a mistake and we can all do that.' But I actually said: 'I want you to tell him that I do think he's a very good referee', because I think he is.

"I've come across him before, he referees in the Champions League."

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Lagging behind other sports

Clement reiterated his view that football is behind other sports with regard to technology and disagreed with the critique that increased use of video technology would slow the game down.

"Yeah, absolutely (football is lagging behind)," he said. "With the technology that is available now, and I don't think you are talking about massive cost in relative terms, but what it could cost a team, fighting for a title or a European place or to stay in the league, it's massive.

"There is going to be a small delay but no longer than it would take if the players are remonstrating about it or there is a booking to give out.

By the time it all settles down, you can use that time to make the correct decision. It is clear what happened, what can anyone say? Get on with it."

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