The West Brom defender was subject to a case of mistaken identity when shown a red card by Neil??Swarbrick??in last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat after Craig Dawson fouled Wilfried Bony in the second minute at the Etihad Stadium.
The red card was transferred to McAuley’s team-mate Dawson with Swarbrick admitting after the match he had made a mistake.
Being interviewed for the first time about the incident, McAuley told Sky Sports News HQ: “I can sympathise with the referee. Around the training ground people would ask me to sign things thinking I’m Craig and vice versa so it’s an easy mistake to make.
“But in that situation I’m more disappointed with the pass I gave Craig which put him in trouble. It’s something I’m looking to put behind me and move on with.”
Swarbrick’s gaffe was the second such controversy in the top-flight in three weeks and the third in a year after incidents involving Sunderland and Arsenal, with West Brom boss Tony Pulis demanding the introduction of video technology.
McAuley agrees with his manager and added: “You look at the pace of the game. Players are crossing over and I think it is difficult for referees. You’ve got to have sympathy with them.
“People talk about video replays and things like that and I think FIFA said it’s a no go but with what’s at stake in the game and what’s at stake at in the Premier League and across Europe it’s certainly something that they could look at.
“Because it is there. The coverage you have already is there and it’s only going to take a matter of seconds because the games are stopped anyway when it comes to contentious decisions as players are usually up in arms. It wouldn’t take an awful lot to make a change “.