By Keith Hackett

14th Nov, 2022 | 2:46pm

Ex-Fifa official issues 'illegal' Mohamed Salah claim as Liverpool controversy picked up by BBC

Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty in their 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday (12 November), according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Simon Hooper should have pointed to the spot after Armel Bella-Kotchap brought down Mohamed Salah.

As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, Salah picked up the ball after a loose touch from Bella-Kotchap on the halfway line.

He raced away from his marker and entered the penalty area before the challenge brought him down.

Hooper waved away Liverpool’s appeals and VAR did not feel he had made a clear and obvious error so did not intervene.

“I thought this was a penalty kick,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

Click below for exclusive transfer news

“If there’s a reason why he didn’t get it, I’ll tell you. It’s because he falls backwards which doesn’t help the decision-making process for the referee.

“Referees are failing to detect and punish what I see as upper-body fouls. This is the illegal use of the hand and arm to prevent the forward movement of a player. I think Salah was unfortunate not to get a penalty kick.

“Having said that, and I’ve been quite critical of Simon Hooper, apart from that incident, I think he generally had quite a good game.

“I think his confidence is beginning to come to the fore.

“At the same time, if he’s got any doubt in his mind he’s not going to give it and in front of the Kop that takes a bit of courage.”

In other news, Liverpool have been backed to complete a striker signing after a Roberto Firmino reveal.