Ex-Premier League referee demands major law change as controversial Saka footage emerges from Arsenal
Nottingham Forest should have been awarded a penalty in their 1-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday (9 January), according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Forest should have been given a spot-kick for Bukayo Saka’s challenge on Jack Colback in the second half.
As shown on the BBC’s highlights programme, the two came together after Bernd Leno saved a Forest free-kick.
The ball had reached the edge of the box with Colback set to take it under contract before he appeared to be pushed by Saka.
“I think they had a strong case [for a penalty],” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“It was a careless challenge. Forest had a good shout.
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“We didn’t have VAR in this particular game. One, it must be difficult for the referees because one week they are operating with VAR and the next they are not.
“We’ve talked about this lazy approach towards refereeing where they almost lean towards a mindset of ‘If it’s a big decision, I’m not going to give it, I’m going to wait for VAR’.
“I thought it was a penalty kick, it was a careless challenge, they got away with it.
“It’s totally wrong. You either have VAR in every game, which is not feasible. Don’t use VAR until you come to the semi-final and final that are played at Wembley.”
Forest’s victory has set up a fourth-round tie with current holders and local rivals Leicester City.
The Premier League club will travel to the City Ground next month.