Ex-Fifa official reveals 'referee confusion' as controversial Shelvey footage emerges from Newcastle
Keith Hackett has claimed Cambridge United’s goal in their famous 1-0 FA Cup win over Newcastle United on Saturday (8 January) would have been disallowed for offside if Jonjo Shelvey did not intervene.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee admitted the law confused both fans and some referees.
As shown on the BBC’s highlights show, Adam May was marginally offside when he was played in behind the Newcastle defence.
However, Shelvey tried to stop the pass and his intervention as he deflected the ball meant a new phase of play started.
The ball eventually found its way to Joe Ironside who scored the game’s only goal.
After a painstaking VAR review, the goal was allowed to stand.
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Asked for his verdict on the goal after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, Hackett said: “That was Ok.
“The reason that was Ok was because there was a clear, deliberate play by Jonjo Shelvey which, in effect, places the player on side and the goal is Ok.
“It’s one of those things that fans, and I’ve got to say referees also get confused about, in terms of active play.
“Jonjo Shelvey has played a deliberate play for the ball and therefore as a consequence has played the players on.
“If he had left it, the goal would have been ruled out for offside. The player in this situation has to make a play for a ball there.”
Cambridge have been drawn against Luton Town in the fourth round set to be played next month.
Newcastle can now fully focus on surviving in the Premier League as they host fellow strugglers Watford in their next game.