Former Arsenal winger Perry Groves has apologised for saying Socceroos star Mat Ryan “had a holocaust of a game” for Brighton against Sheffield United.
Groves made the controversial comment live on radio on talkSport’s ‘The Warm Up’ show following Brighton’s 1-0 home defeat to the Blades in the Premier League last weekend.
Angry listeners phoned in to complain after Groves made the remark.
“I lost half of my family to the Holocaust and it really upset and angered me hearing him use those comments to describe a football game of all things,” said Joseph Reiselson, 72.
“I phoned up to complain immediately and the man at talkSPORT who spoke to me said that I wasn’t the only one to call up about his comments.”
Groves, 54, said sorry.
“I’d just like to sincerely apologise for my misuse of words earlier,” he said.
“I didn’t mean to offend anybody and if I have offended anybody I’m truly, genuinely sorry and that is from my heart.”
His initial comments came after Ryan endured a difficult 90 minutes for the Seagulls at the Amex Stadium.
— Gary Marshall (@garymarshallll) December 22, 2019
Ryan struggled for the hosts and was spared in the seventh minute when John Egan’s goal for Sheffield was ruled out by VAR for a handball.
Australia international Ryan had completely missed an inswinging corner, allowing Egan to bundle the ball into the net from close range.
However, replays showed the ball had brushed Egan’s arm and the goal was overruled.
Ryan was then beaten at his near post by Oliver McBurnie in the 23rd minute, with the goalkeeper appearing to be caught in two minds on whether he should come off his line.
Ryan’s blushes were spared after another error led to a further Sheffield goal, which was also ruled out by VAR.
The Socceroo spilled a routine catch on his line from a Sheffield free kick with Jack O’Connell finishing the rebound, only for VAR to rule the Blades defender offside.
It was a rare off day for the Aussie who has started all 18 of Brighton’s Premier League matches this season, keeping four clean sheets.
The Seagulls are currently 13th in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone.