In a revelation that will come as no consolation to Everton, the Premier League have admitted privately that the penalty awarded by Video Assistant Referee against Michael Keane at the Amex stadium a fortnight ago should not have been given￼.
VAR official Lee Mason recommended that the on-field referee on the day, Andy Madley, reverse his initial assessment that Michael Keane had accidentally impeded Aaron Connolly, handing the Seagulls a controversial spot-kick and a path back into a match they went on to win with a stoppage-time Lucas Digne own goal.
Everton were angered by what was a widely criticised decision but have, without any recourse, had to abide by it and Marco Silva's side were harshly affected by yet more dubious officiating from Stockley Park in last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
Dele Alli's handball in the area met all the requirements under the new rules surrounding handball but, despite a lengthy VAR review, no penalty was given. Richarlison was also involved in two contentious incidents that might also have resulted in penalties but neither was reviewed.
The news of the Premier League's acknowledgement, as reported by outlets like The Telegraph, of Mason's error came out of a meeting between the northwest Premier League clubs and Mike Riley, head of Professional Game Management Officials Limited, the body that oversees match officials in English football, where grievances over the problems with the implementation of VAR and potential fixes were aired.
“[The mistakes were] so clear in the last three or four games and we are talking about it costing us five or six points,” Marco Silva said to the print media ahead of that meeting with PGMOL. “Where would we be with those points? I don't have any doubts that we would be performing on a different level if we had those points.
“Every team in the world plays with more confidence when it is higher up the table. Now we are not in the position we want, I am not happy with the position we are in, but I know things would be completely different if football was fair with us. We deserved more but it is done and I can change nothing.
“It was so clear and now we go into another must-win game — and every game is a must-win game for us — when we would have had more freedom and confidence had we been higher in the table.”
Reader Comments (59)
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1 Posted 09/11/2019 at 01:09:53
2 Posted 09/11/2019 at 01:16:55
"Have admitted privately" says all that needs to be said. In the U.S. this would be called an "anonymous source" and no credible outlet would ever run with it. Until you can definitively state the who, what, where, why, and when, and cite confirmed sources, it may as well be made up. Which appears to be the norm for British dailies? I'm really astonished by how much credence is given them.
Before anyone thinks, or says, what I suspect they might, let me share that I have a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College (Google it!)
I do not work as a journalist.
But I fully understand how journalism works.
This isn't it. Your mileage may vary, but I'm hoping this is the first post! ðŸ¤žðŸ¼
3 Posted 09/11/2019 at 02:26:30
What about the Spurs game?
4 Posted 09/11/2019 at 02:27:11
He will have got his information from the source but it's rare that sources are specifically identified. Usually, they go with the line “The Telegraph/Sky Sports/The Athletic understands...â€ which is journalistic shorthand for “this came from the horse's mouthâ€ or someone close to the situation.
In this case, Bascombe will probably have spoken with contacts at Everton and they will have passed on the info that during the meeting with PGMOL, the PL acknowledged a mistake was made at Brighton. And, really, it's not far-fetched — it was a terrible decision and everybody knows it.
5 Posted 09/11/2019 at 02:46:44
As for the why/why not, it didn't seem likely to me that the EPL would admit or acknowledge anything was wrong since they presumably rubber stamped the use of VAR in the first place, or didn't they? In other words, I didn't know they understood the concept of 'mea culpa.' Hilariously they omitted any comments around why VAR isn't working but I digress...
6 Posted 09/11/2019 at 03:35:13
7 Posted 09/11/2019 at 03:52:19
According to the world's most powerful man, it's ALL fake news.
I hate to criticise an industry that you are attached to but the days of honest journalism are over.
It is now all about sensationalism and clickbait.
9 Posted 09/11/2019 at 04:26:35
I still contend, if not for the VAR bullshit, we would have seen out that victory. Brighton were offering nothing going forward and playing with little self-belief. That penalty changed everything.
10 Posted 09/11/2019 at 05:07:50
"No credible outlet would ever run with it."
I live in the US, and journalism is long dead here. Fake news, unnamed sources, and agenda-driven articles are all we have left.
I dare say, its the same in the UK.
12 Posted 09/11/2019 at 06:55:55
13 Posted 09/11/2019 at 06:58:17
There would be a Truth & Reconciliation Committee set up if this happened to “other clubsâ€. There'd be tearful Norwegian guys chaining themselves to railings and if they got the Alli decision a week after possibly self immolating on the streets of Oslo.
We just get told something we knew was wrong in nanoseconds was wrong a fortnight later, the points long gone. Great! Why don't you give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice in it while you're at it?
What new, cruel and usual way are we going to find to not win this week? Depressing Everton!
14 Posted 09/11/2019 at 06:59:40
Until full communication around all the rules and decisions are made public, its will continue to cause controversy.
There is now a 'mystery' person deciding in-game decisions, over-ruling referees without referees being able to review such decisions.
Who is in charge of officiating matches, who's accountable for errors and mistakes?
Is you ask players, managers, coaches, referees and their assistants to explain their understanding of VAR and how it works on specific incidents you would get a dozen or more different answers. This can't be right.
15 Posted 09/11/2019 at 07:54:04
The Brighton match was especially unfortunate as we had just put in our best game of the season against West Ham and without that dubious penalty I think we'd have won our first away match in a while, completed our first comeback under Silva and moved 6 or so places up the table with some forward momentum.
Silva desperately needs a positive run but may have to make his own luck.
16 Posted 09/11/2019 at 08:11:44
17 Posted 09/11/2019 at 08:18:36
18 Posted 09/11/2019 at 08:34:11
With the technology available their should be a central HQ at the FA with a dedicated VAR team purposely set up to decide these descisions if the referee can't decide.
This is no consolation to EFC and if the Brighton balls up is been belated decided it was a wrong call, then surely the Spurs descision should follow suit.
God help us today as the old adage things happen in threes some times does happen.
Let's hope today we get a good referee, no spineless gut less coward like Atkinson, and absolutely smash Southampton today. No mercy.
Not many great days of late down there but we had a few good wins, at The Dell. I was there for Sharpies 4, in1987, and beating them 3-2, 1985, and telling the J xxxxhouse Case, to get to, after that game. Happy days.
So today our plight is very, very serious. Simple as, we must win. Let's hope the injustices and the injury to AndrÃ©, galvanise and spur on the team today.
Never before have we needed a good result, as after Norwich, it's as tough couple of months of fixtures as we could get.
19 Posted 09/11/2019 at 09:30:31
20 Posted 09/11/2019 at 09:39:45
21 Posted 09/11/2019 at 09:57:45
22 Posted 09/11/2019 at 10:08:29
23 Posted 09/11/2019 at 10:11:21
24 Posted 09/11/2019 at 10:14:26
25 Posted 09/11/2019 at 10:21:39
But that's for another day
26 Posted 09/11/2019 at 10:47:14
It's completely incompetent and unacceptable to make the wrong decision when you view the incident a dozen times from five different angles in slow time. VAR has become a joke because it's being run by morons.
27 Posted 09/11/2019 at 10:55:43
28 Posted 09/11/2019 at 11:09:03
You beat me to it, nothing wrong with VAR, I was 100% in favour.
It's the a s who are operating it, and on the pitch. The refereeing gets worse every season and how that c... atkinson is still allowed to ref !!!
I watch youth football as much as I can, I see young refs with no linesmen getting 99 % of decisions correct.
So are these highly paid officials who like to think they're more important than the game, inept, bent, biased or all of these.
After supporting EFC for 45 years, i'm getting out, I packed the ciggys in, so hopefully can do the same with pro football, sick of officials and been pissed off most w-ends.
Feel very sorry for the lads I know who go home & away, hope they have a better journey home today.
29 Posted 09/11/2019 at 11:21:32
As I said just use it for the narrow offside decisions and leave everything else to the ref on the pitch. It's not perfect but at least it cuts down on the wasted time waiting for a VAR decision and only gives the fans one bone of contention to moan about instead of the extra VAR one's as well.
30 Posted 09/11/2019 at 11:46:08
31 Posted 09/11/2019 at 12:04:58
Watching us struggle near the bottom of the table doesn't help either I suppose.
32 Posted 09/11/2019 at 12:09:22
But that's not what the PL implemented. They're doing exactly what the anti VAR crowd were scared of - they're re-refereeing the game from a TV screen. So instead of consistency, they get massive inconsistency. It's not good for fans, teams or even referees.
Again, any football fan could see what they were doing wrong and what would happen. Somehow they couldn't see it.
VAR isn't the problem, it's the total incompetence around our game.
33 Posted 09/11/2019 at 12:24:21
34 Posted 09/11/2019 at 12:42:55
If you're looking for recent posts on VAR I recommend you take a look at last Sunday's match day thread.
Scroll down to Pat Finegan's excellent post @ 358. It got 'lost' in the many issues that naturally preoccupied TWers following that game.
Indeed, @ 413 I flagged Pat's post up to the editors suggesting it merited it's own thread, such was the quality of Pat's submission on a very hot topic.
They chose not to do so. A missed opportunity, I feel, as thoughts about VAR are fragmented across many different threads when they could have been concentrated under one dedicated thread on the subject.
And Pat, if by chance you read this, may I congratulate you again on the excellence of your post I reference.
35 Posted 09/11/2019 at 12:58:29
You can't tell me that these decisions would have gone against the "golden ones" in the top six? Are these people accountable to anyone in their boys club?
I also believe there is a refereeing bias against us, but I would, wouldn't I ?
36 Posted 09/11/2019 at 13:20:36
37 Posted 09/11/2019 at 13:28:00
38 Posted 09/11/2019 at 14:20:34
Unfortunately the refs seem to not apply common sense as in the Keane non-penalty.
39 Posted 09/11/2019 at 14:32:37
(1) general incompetence of most if not all of our officials. Referring specifically to the Brighton incident, how is it possible for a review of what is supposed to be a clear and obvious mistake itself result in another mistake (now seemingly acknowledged) being made?
(2) I think most would agree that in any PL match involving one of the "Sky Six", decisions including those made with the assistance of VAR are invariably skewed in favour of the media favourite. Officials, including VAR officials, are afraid of ruling against these teams for fear of the backlash which could result in them being demoted from their lucrative PL job. I think it was Uriah Rennie who was unceremoniously demoted to the Championship after a complaint by rs to PL about his performance - ironic now to hear Klopp pontificating about managers losing their jobs because of dodgy VAR calls!
(3) we will never see replays at grounds of the incidents under review as there is an unshakeable resolve within the FA/PL not to show "controversial incidents". Indeed, some grounds (including our o!d ground and Old Trafford) do not have the facility to show such replays.
In summary, I would repeat that VAR might work in PL if we lived in an ideal world and played the game on a level playing field, however we don't and never will. For those reasons I remain "anti_VAR.
40 Posted 09/11/2019 at 14:37:56
41 Posted 09/11/2019 at 14:41:41
42 Posted 09/11/2019 at 14:42:44
43 Posted 09/11/2019 at 14:53:11
44 Posted 09/11/2019 at 14:59:15
45 Posted 09/11/2019 at 15:04:59
46 Posted 09/11/2019 at 15:11:56
47 Posted 09/11/2019 at 17:17:26
The referee said no penalty. His opinion, in a game where it's his opinion that matters. To overturn that it needs to be a clear and obvious error. And it wasn't. So no, it wasn't a penalty.
I wouldn't mind if the referee looked at his monitor and gave it. Obviously I'd disagree with the decision but I've disagreed with plenty of decisions over the years. Then we could get back to blaming referees instead of people in a bunker.
48 Posted 09/11/2019 at 17:34:53
We get a dodgy penalty on the 4th December. Take that as an apology.
49 Posted 09/11/2019 at 19:36:32
But the penalties not given at Brighton or against Spurs were far worse in my opinion.
It was mentioned earlier that one could forgive referees in the past for not spotting something on one view but the operators of VAR have no excuse whatsoever
How was the Alli pen not given? How was the foul on Richie not given?
It's absolutely maddening and frustrating and is putting me off football
50 Posted 09/11/2019 at 19:57:14
51 Posted 09/11/2019 at 20:03:08
That's great that you have a degree but a favourite saying of my dads springs to mind:
He can spell marmalade but he can't open the jar.
I don't mean any malice, just a gentle dig!
52 Posted 09/11/2019 at 21:02:07
Where technology can provide the answer it should be used. The goal line decisions are fine. They are instant and impartial.
53 Posted 09/11/2019 at 22:07:14
54 Posted 10/11/2019 at 12:26:07
I am a supporter of technology in sport. In my own sport, which is probably one of the fastest team games with a ball - Hockey - we have technology and it in no way slows down the game. It does provide, in almost every case I've seen, the fair and correct decision.
Football could also take lessons from Rugby and tennis, in which technology works perfectly in those sports too.
But then, it's pretty clear by many many other things connected with footy, that sadly for us passionate fans, it is run, in the main, by morons.
My last observation would be that if players themselves stopped cheating and trying to con the ref into giving pens, the sport would improve beyond limits and VAR would be virtually unnecessary. STOP THE CHEATS I say!
55 Posted 10/11/2019 at 15:16:50
I caught the international Rugby with England and it reminded me just how much standing around and waiting there is in Union - not a fluid game like football used to be.
However, with VAR the game suddenly got very pedantic and technical - they still get decisions wrong - and now there are all new bizarre decisions like the Keane one which may well be technically correct but make no sense in the context of what is happening on the pitch.
The fluidity and passion has somehow been dampened.
56 Posted 10/11/2019 at 15:20:52
I'm watching Wolves v Villa when the ball goes out for a Villa goal kick.
However, Wolves player Coady is sitting on the pitch taking an eternity to put his boot back on and lace it up, and the ref waits until he gets up before restarting the game!
57 Posted 10/11/2019 at 17:35:17
Another blatant stone-cold handball, as obvious as the Dele Alli one by Liverpool, there's no point having all this technology if it's wankers doing the live review of it.
58 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:28:49
59 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:58:09
Anyway, it now looks as though Riley has changed his mind, and will encourage referees to start using the pitch side monitors
60 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:57:16
I'm not a Silva fan, but no denying he hasn't had any luck with VAR decisions or injuries in past month.
62 Posted 11/11/2019 at 17:52:15
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