Phil Neville Accepts He Was Wrong To Brand MLS Referees As Cheats
Inter Miami manager Phil Neville has conceded he was wrong to accuse Major League Soccer(MLS) referees of cheating after key decisions went against his side.
Miami are currently 13th on the Eastern Conference table and have lost each of their last five games.
After losing 1-0 to New York Red Bulls last weekend, Neville went on an outburst when Gonzalo Higuain had a goal chalked off by VAR. Neville’s conduct saw him fined by the league organisers.
Neville told reporters after the 1-0 loss to New York: "We got cheated in Portland and we’ve been cheated again.
"I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but something is fundamentally wrong with the way referees treat Inter Miami.
"We’re playing in one of the best leagues in the world, and I’m having a great experience, but I’ve got a dressing room that’s asking real, real questions about the integrity of this league in terms of the decisions we keep getting."
Ahead of Miami’s trip to Columbus on Saturday, Neville has held his hands up that his behaviour was just a spur-of-the-moment.
“After the game I said the things that I said in the emotions of losing a really important game and in terms of feelings of the last two or three games, feeling a bit hard done by a couple of decisions that didn’t go our way,” Neville said at a press conference.
“I used the wrong terminology to describe how I felt. I used the wrong word — cheat — which should never be used towards officials or in games of football.
"I had really good dialogue with both MLS and the PRO referees [organization] in terms of the decisions, my behaviour, the word used, and the respect that is needed from both sides, and obviously my assurance that this was just a one-off.”