Wolves star Dendoncker benefits from VAR 'inconsistency' - ex-referee

By Keith Hackett

17th Jan, 2022 | 12:26pm

Ex-Fifa official demands VAR overhaul after analysing Wolves-Southampton controversy

Southampton should have been awarded a penalty after Wolves star Leander Dendoncker’s “clumsy” challenge on Oriol Romeu, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League referee highlighted the “inconsistency” with use of the Video Assistant Referee during Wolves’ 3-1 win over the Saints.

As shown on BBC’s Match of the Day (15 January, 49:36), Romeu appeared to be on the receiving end of a late kick from Dendoncker while inside the 18-yard-box.

On closer inspection, the Spanish midfielder seemed to touch the ball away from the Wolves star before being brought down.

Referee Michael Salisbury chose not to award a penalty and VAR official Rob Jones found no clear and obvious error with the decision.

Hackett suggested he would like to see referees given more opportunity to consider overturning decisions with the pitchside screen.

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“This was a tight call,” he said, after analysing the footage with Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.

“You’ve got to consider whether it was an accident or a deliberate kick. I think this was more of an accident – but you’ve got to consider whether it was careless.

“It was clumsy, and you’ve got to say a penalty kick could well have been awarded. I think Southampton’s and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s claims are vindicated.

“I think it wasn’t quite a clear and obvious error, and Rob Jones has decided that. I think that’s where the VAR is still not consistent. There’s no barometer of clear and obvious between the VAR official and the match referee.

“I think it should have been looked at pitchside because then the referee can have another look. But the crucial thing is that he doesn’t have to side with the VAR official, because they seem to every time.

“There’s only been one referee who has gone against what the VAR has advised.”

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