By Keith Hackett

8th Nov, 2021 | 6:46pm

Ex-Fifa referee: El Ghazi should be banned after Aston Villa controversy

Anwar El Ghazi should have been sent off for Aston Villa as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Southampton, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee insisted El Ghazi should have been shown a second yellow card on two occasions down at St. Mary’s.

The winger, who was making his first Premier League start since August, was initially booked in the 11th-minute for a foul on Tino Livramento.

As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day, he was then unpunished for a similar challenge on the same player shortly after before not being shown a yellow for a “blatant” dive in the Southampton penalty area.

Two yellow cards would have meant El Ghazi would have had to sit out Aston Villa’s game against Brighton & Hove Albion after the international break.

“I’m really critical of the referee here because there’s no way that El Ghazi should have stayed on the pitch,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“He got the yellow then he’s committed other offences. I just think it’s poor officiating.

“Andy Madley is new on the list, in fairness to him, but I do think El Ghazi should have gone.

“There is an argument that VAR should be able to come in on second yellows.

“At the moment, there is no energy from the authorities to go there.

“If we were operating VAR correctly because he’s in communication with the referee, there’s the opportunity for any one of those team of officials to have a quiet word [with the referee].

“There’s no question that El Ghazi should have received a red card. That should be reviewed by the match officials to say how they could allow him to carry on.

“The act of simulation was blatant.”

In other news, Jurgen Klopp is to have a big say in Aston Villa appointment as Steven Gerrard plan is revealed.