Ex-Fifa official: 'Referees are ignoring it' as controversial Pope footage emerges from Burnley
Keith Hackett has claimed Huddersfield Town’s winning goal in their 2-1 victory over Burnley on Saturday (8 January) should have been chalked off for a foul on Nick Pope.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League official claimed referees are “ignoring” impeding and holding offences in the penalty area.
Huddersfield whipped in a corner with less than five minutes to go and Danny Ward stopped Pope from coming to collect the cross.
It fell to Matty Pearson at the back post who poked home to set up a fourth round tie with Barnsley.
“In the modern climate, that goal is going to be allowed every day,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“Nick Pope was looking for an excuse. I believe he was impeded but under current refereeing and inconsistent refereeing, referees are ignoring these blocking offences in the box.
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“I’m not surprised that the impeeding offence by the Huddersfield Town player wasn’t punished, I’m not surprised at all. Nick Pope’s got to be stronger.
“In law, he was impeded but the reality is that referees are ignoring it. Inside the penalty area, it takes something else.
“We’re not giving holding offences. The PGMOL will come out with the nonsense of ‘He let go’ which is bemusing. An impeeding offence is an offence.
“What referees have to understand is that when that action takes place, the concentration of the goalkeeper is lost, that’s the impact.
“It’s not the physical impact, it’s the mental impact as he looks for the free kick. He’s not going to get it. In the modern climate, it’s rare these offences are penalised.”