Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas has apologised after branding referee Robert Jones a “complete s***house” during Sunday’s north London derby at Arsenal.
The 40-year-old, now a television pundit and presenter, took to social media during the thrilling 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium after the Gunners were awarded a controversial penalty, prompting a backlash from other users.
Responding to the criticism on Monday, Jenas wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I hold my hands up, I got it wrong yesterday.
“I should know, more than most, the responsibility we have as fans, players and pundits and the impact our words online can have as it’s an area I’ve been vocal in.
“My emotions got the better of me and I apologise to The FA and to all match officials.”
Jenas’ initial post came after Jones had been advised by the Video Assistant Referee to take another look at an incident in which the ball had hit the arm of Spurs defender Cristian Romero from close range.
The referee had not initially awarded a penalty, but did so after the review and Bukayo Saka promptly dispatched the spot-kick to make it 2-1 to the home side, although Son Heung-min levelled almost immediately to ensure the game finished all square.
Jenas, who was part of the Football Association, Premier League and EFL’s Love Football, Protect the Game campaign ahead of the new season, wrote: “Complete sh**house off a referee! They’re all ruining the our game!”
The charity Ref Support UK accused Jenas of encouraging the abuse of match officials.
The organisation said on X: “This is a disgraceful tweet and you should be ashamed. Your tweet encourages online abuse of referees and considering your role on TV your employers need to give their head a wobble.
“Remember Anthony Taylor and his family were attacked at an airport because of antics such as yours.”