Liverpool told Mane deserves extended ban - 'Where was VAR?'

By Keith Hackett

2nd May, 2022 | 11:05am

Ex-Fifa official: Sadio Mane deserves extended ban as controversial Liverpool footage emerges - 'Where was VAR?'

Sadio Mane should have been sent off as Liverpool beat Newcastle United 1-0 on Saturday (30 April), according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee questioned why VAR did not intervene on Mane’s challenge on Martin Dubravka.

In the second half, the 30-year-old went studs up to challenge for a loose ball that was easily picked up by Dubravka.

After he grabbed the ball, Mane’s foot was planted into the Newcastle goalkeeper’s knee.

The referee did not intervene and Mane was allowed to continue without punishment.

A straight red card would have seen the in-form forward banned for Liverpool’s next three domestic games – Premier League fixtures with Tottenham and Aston Villa plus the FA Cup final with Chelsea.

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Asked for his verdict on the controversy, Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I think this is an interesting one.

“That is a minimum yellow card. But when you see where his foot is planted, that is a red. For me, that’s a red card challenge.

“Look where it is and look where it ends up. He comes in leading with his feet. It’s a red card.

“He was very lucky. Where was VAR? It might not have been picked up.”

Mane is arguably Liverpool’s hottest player currently with six goals in his last eight appearances across all competitions but is out of contract at the end of next season.

A recruitment source told Football Insider last month (17 April) that both club and player want to extend his agreement but Liverpool will not break the bank to keep him.

In other news, Kieran Maguire has revealed the Liverpool owners have caused ‘huge damage’ as the Government is set to intervene.