By Keith Hackett

16th Nov, 2022 | 12:24pm

Ex-Fifa official: Referees told to be on red alert as Aston Villa cheating exposed

Referees should be on red alert to the “time-wasting” tactics of Aston Villa, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee delivered his verdict after Aston Villa’s 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday (13 November).

Aston Villa took the lead in the 54th minute with Danny Ings’ second goal and immediately tried to defend their lead through any means possible.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi told Sky Sports after the game that Aston Villa were not playing fair.

“I think I concur with his views,” Hackett told Football Insider.

“There is time-consuming and time-wasting and there’s a difference.

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“I don’t think referees are understanding it. Time-consuming is part of football.

“I think this very experienced referee should deal with this particular problem throughout the game, not just in periods. I didn’t actually see him respond to any form of time-wasting.

“This is not the first time that accusations have been thrown at Aston Villa, we’ve raised it before.

“We have professional referees and part of their process is no different to a manager of a football team and his technical staff, they prepare and understand the tactics, the players and set-pieces.

“It has to be part of the remit of a modern-day referee. It seems to me he’s fallen into the game thinking ‘I’ve got my whistle, I’m going to blow it and I’m oblivious to many things’.”

Aston Villa were shown seven yellow cards at the Amex with five of them coming after the 84th minute.

That’s the most a side has received in a Premier League games since Tottenham’s nine in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ with Chelsea in May 2016.

In other news, Aston Villa may be ready to rip up Philippe Coutinho’s contract after a major reveal.