By Keith Hackett

6th Sep, 2022 | 12:44pm

Ex-Fifa official suggests VAR 'technical fault' as controversial Alexis Mac Allister footage emerges at Brighton

Keith Hackett has suggested VAR may have experienced a “technical fault” after Alexis Mac Allister had a goal ruled out as Brighton beat Leicester City 5-2 on Sunday (4 September).

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee insisted the normal VAR procedure was not followed as the referee ruled on an offside call that took four-and-a-half minutes.

Mac Allister scored a goal-of-the-season contender when a free-kick broke to him on the edge of the penalty area.

After a lengthy VAR review, referee Tony Harrington decided Enock Mwepu was offside when the free-kick was taken and the goal was ruled out.

“It is not the process criteria in the way that VAR operates for the referee to be involved in the offside decision,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.

“I was surprised. They either rule it on or they rule it off.

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“It was actually four-and-a-half minutes to get to a decision to rule it out. If it’s taking that long, it’s not clear and obvious, the goal should have stood.

“These things have got to be delivered in a much more professional manner.

“Tony Harrington is an experienced referee but he’s relatively new to the Premier League. This is one of his early games as he builds up experience.

“I thought, generally, he had done really well but on this, I think there was confusion.

“You are stood in the stadium and you don’t know what’s going on, how does that sell the decision to the fans? How does it sell to the players?

“Four-and-a-half minutes is an awfully long time so it’s not clear and obvious, it can’t be.

“I don’t know what was going on. Did they have a technical fault? Were the lines they were drawing behind the scenes haywire? Did they have an operational breakdown? I don’t know.

“Ultimately they decided to rule it out rather than rule it in.”

In other news, Aston Villa have a “strong interest” in a Brighton & Hove Albion man.