Referee Andre Marriner, who controversially showed red card to Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, has apologized to Arsenal FC for his mistake.

As Chelsea handed over an embarrassing loss to the Gunners at Stamford Bridge yesterday, one incident in particular managed to grab the headlines as referee Andre Marriner wrongly sent off Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs in the first half.

In the 17th minute of the match Eden Hazard’s shot was spectacularly saved by a diving Alex Oxlade Chamberlain on the line and the Arsenal midfielder used his hands to do so. The referee spotted the hand-ball and awarded Chelsea a penalty. But incredibly Andre Marriner showed a red card to Kieran Gibbs – something which was later confirmed as a case of mistaken identity. Oxlade-Chamberlain and other Arsenal players tried to point out the mistake to the officials, but their efforts were in vain.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited has released an official statement about this incident after the match and they have stated that referee Andre Marriner has apologised to Arsenal for this mistake.

“Andre is an experienced referee and is obviously disappointed that an error of mistaken identity was made in this case,” the statement read.

“Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors.

“Whilst this was a difficult decision Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.

“He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.” – Read the official statement.

The FA has later confirmed that the governing body or Arsenal are likely to appeal against this decision on the grounds of mistaken identity, in which case the suspension would be transferred from Kieran Gibbs to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Gunners can also possibly protest against the suspension by pointing out the fact that Hazard’s shot was not on target, which meant that the handball didn’t deny a direct scoring opportunity.

“Clubs can appeal mistaken identity to The FA, although The FA can pro-actively review also.

“Following a red card clubs can also review possibility of a wrongful dismissal claim to The FA, unless dismissal is for 2 yellow cards.” – Read tweets from FA’s official account.

Arsene Wenger has also pointed out this mistake in the aftermath of the match. The Frenchman said in a recent interview: “The referee made a mistake because he missed the identity of the player, he has not seen what happened at all.

“Maybe it was a penalty, but it was not Gibbs.”