Ex-Premier League referee: Hughes controversy is 'why VAR was introduced' as Crystal Palace footage analysed
The decision to award Brighton a penalty in their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Friday night (14 January) was “why VAR was introduced”.
That is the view of ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Will Hughes’ foul on Joël Veltman.
As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, in the 38th minute Brighton whipped in a corner into the Crystal Palace penalty area.
Hughes brought Veltman down as he tried to reach the cross by dragging him to the ground by his neck.
Robert Jones the on-field referee missed the incident before Stuart Atwell the VAR operator intervened to award the penalty.
Pascal Gross’ dismal effort from the spot was subsuquently saved by Jack Butland.
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“What struck me was the relationship between the VAR and the referee,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“It was Stuart Attwell who was VAR for that particular game. There’s clearly a good rapport and trust between the two. As a consequence of that, credit to them, they got the right decision.
“It was one of those decisions, this is why VAR was introduced. It wasn’t easy on the first view, for the referee to make that decision.
“The referee was Robert Jones who is a new guy. Attwell was deemed by Uefa to be a top VAR operator as he was out at the Euros. Robert Jones is relatively new to the Premier League so that’s where the relationship is being built. it’s what we want to see, good teamwork.”