Online bookmaker Betway has issued an apology after it tweeted criticism of West Ham player Michail Antonio – despite being the official shirt sponsor of the Premier League club.
Playing at right-back as opposed to his customary position on the wing, Antonio endured a torrid outing in West Ham’s 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Monday as he gave away the penalty for the hosts’ early second-half opener at Stamford Bridge.
He was replaced by Sam Byram shortly afterwards, at which point Betway posted a scathing assessment of his performance on its official Twitter account.
Antonio was described as “an accident waiting to happen in defence”, with Slaven Bilic’s decision to deploy him in the back four labelled as an “experiment”.
— betway (@betway) August 15, 2016
Betway’s links to West Ham meant the tweet drew a strong response and the company moved to clarify their version of events on Tuesday.
A statement from Betway read: “We have a team of passionate writers who provide impartial opinion across all sports.
“Betway acknowledges that this particular tweet is inappropriate in light of our relationship with West ham United, of which we are extremely proud.
RE: Chelsea v West Ham United pic.twitter.com/X5YdXunedC
— betway (@betway) August 16, 2016
“We would like to apologise to Michail, Slaven and the club for any offence caused.”