By Keith Hackett

8th Nov, 2021 | 5:00pm

Ex-Premier League referee asks 'where was VAR?' as controversial Aston Villa footage emerges

Aston Villa should have had a penalty in their 1-0 loss to Southampton, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee was left stunned as the officials missed a blatant pull on Tyrone Mings’ shirt from a corner.

As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, Oriol Romeu pulled the Aston Villa captain back as he tried to win a header.

His protests, and those from the Aston Villa bench, were waved away by Andy Madley and VAR did not intervene.

“How could they not see the shirt pull on Tyrone Mings?” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“The shirt was extended for about a foot from the body. It was so clear. Where was the assistant referee? Where was VAR? Where was the referee?

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“You can’t ignore that type of offence. It’s systematic of allowing grappling to take place in the penalty area and not punishing it.

“Madley was at fault for not giving that penalty kick and the VAR did not come in and help him.

“The assistant was side on, he couldn’t fail to recognise it. If he doesn’t want to raise the flag because of various protocols, he’s got a communication kit.”

Two days after the game, the Villa hierarchy decided to sack Dean Smith after his side’s fifth consecutive defeat.

That has left the Midlands giants in 16th, just two points above the relegation places after 11 games played.

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