Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer blasted for ‘poor sportsmanship’ by Cardiff City chief Malky Mackay in controversial Premier League finale

Norwich City's goalless Premier League home draw with Cardiff City was marred by late controversy when Leroy Fer rolled a...

Norwich City's goalless Premier League home draw with Cardiff City was marred by late controversy when Leroy Fer rolled a home throw-in past David Marshall to spark angry scenes. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer was heavily criticised by Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay after his pivotal role in a contentious finale to the Canaries' 0-0 Premier League draw at Carrow Road.

Ex-City stalwart Mackay insisted it was 'poor sportsmanship' on the Dutch midfielder's part after he opted to score past David Marshall following a throw-in after a late injury to team mate Alex Tettey. Marshall had originally put the ball out of play for the Norwegian to receive attention, but Fer guided Ricky van Wolfswinkel's throw-in into his unguarded goal, sparking a furious response from Cardiff players. Referee Mike Jones ordered Norwich to re-take the throw-in after calm had been restored deep in stoppage time, and Mackay revealed afterwards Norwich's management team indicated they would have instructed the hosts to let his side equalise if the goal had stood. Mackay had initially been prepared to give Fer the benefit of the doubt after watching the drama unfold in real-time but made his feelings clear following the Dutchman's post-match admission he had intended to score.

'From afar at the time I thought the lad had perhaps not meant it but I believe he has now done a post-match interview saying he did mean it. That is pretty ungentlemanly conduct from the lad,' said Mackay. 'Immediately Colin (Calderwood) and Chris (Hughton) came up and said if Mike Jones gives it we will let you walk it into our net. There was complete calmness from both benches. The boys on the pitch were obviously a little bit more heated but I think common sense prevailed. In this day and age what you saw today was something that is not good for the game.

'Like I say at the time I didn't think he meant it but if he did and wanted to win the game then he needs to take a long, hard look at himself because that is poor sportsmanship. There is a lot of respect in the game and you lose that quickly with those type of actions. But I stress I have only heard that second hand right now and no doubt it will be cleared up.'

Hughton admitted in his post-match interview he would have had a difficult dilemma if the goal had been allowed but was prepared to reserve judgement until he had spoken to the officials and viewed footage of the incident.

'The ball was played back to Leroy who gave it to them. I don't know if the pace of the ball took it past the keeper or not,' he said. 'What I have heard without speaking to the referee is that he has said he hadn't whistled for play to go ahead. I didn't realise you had to do that from a throw-in. Having said that, it is not a way you would want to win a game. We should have won it by taking some of the chances we had. If the referee had allowed it then of course there would have been a major debate. It would have left a big question mark if he hadn't brought it back. As I say, I don't know if the keeper left it on purpose or the pace beat him. I would have to see it back. I know it's a contentious one and it wouldn't have left a nice feeling at that moment and as a manager you would have a decision to make.'