By Keith Hackett

4th Oct, 2021 | 8:00pm

Ex-Premier League referee: Major VAR change on the cards after Athletic's Liverpool reveal

Keith Hackett wants VAR to be able to come in on second yellow card offences after a huge controversy in the Liverpool v Man City thriller.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-FIFA and Premier League referee insisted James Milner deserved a second yellow in Sunday’s 2-2 instant classic.

The Liverpool man had been cautioned in the first half but avoided a second booking for a foul on Bernando Silva.

The Athletic reported today (October 4) the Premier League had confirmed VAR did not come in as it was not part of a goal or penalty incident.

Guardian journalist Lars Sivertsen tweeted he thought a change would open up a “huge can of worms”.

Asked for his assessment of that view Hackett told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley: “VAR is operating much better this season.

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“The outcome is that not every incident needs to be checked. I refer back to the criteria it still operates on a clear and obvious error. There are second yellow cards that don’t need a check because they’re simply applied.

“I have to say, it’s relatively rare that a referee does make an error in a second yellow.

“That’s why I’m suggesting a change. The outcome is here, a referee has been criticised heavily in the media and his integrity has been questioned because he’s not issued a second yellow card and his courage has been questioned. My defence is that this is a referee who has made a human error. I saw players who hit the ball over the bar, I saw challenges being missed. This is football.

“If we have a piece of equipment that is available to avoid errors of this nature…A lot of these decisions are subjective which is also a complication.

“I understand that view [Sivertsen’s], but what would have been the outcome of that game if there had been a VAR check? The referee wouldn’t have faced the criticism he has got at the moment.”

In other news, Liverpool are plotting a raid to sign a Champions League forward who tormented Man United after a transfer mission.