By Keith Hackett

30th Nov, 2021 | 7:00am

Ex-Premier League referee: Officials caught 'massively short' by Tottenham controversy

The officials were caught “massively short” by heavy snowfall ahead of Burnley’s game against Tottenham and had no choice but to postpone the game.

That is the view of ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the game was called off just an hour before kick-off.

Referee Peter Bankes explained to Sky Sports that the snow meant the game could not go ahead without descending into “farce”.

There has yet to be any confirmation when the game will be replayed but Tottenham already have nine games scheduled in December.

“The interview from referee Peter Bankes is excellent,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“It describes fully the difficulty that they faced.

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“If there are any doubts that a pitch is going to be unfit then you don’t let the fans in. They’re caught massively short by a huge snowfall.

“This was a particularly difficult decision with fans already in. There’s pressure on the referee, he’s got to look at the safety of the players and the fans. Are the outer streets safe so they can leave the ground OK?

“He went through the right procedures. He took the ball out with him and saw how it went. The lines were covered, the referee has to see the lines, this is the elite level.

“This is a different scenario to a referee giving an interview after the game where he discusses his decision in the game. They tend to be more vitriolic and people form opinions.

“It’s a difficult one. I know these guys, I know they are very articulate and can handle the media very efficiently, they are, as their very nature as referees, very good communicators.

“Generally the media says they want interviews post-match but don’t really because ultimately it kills a lot of the conversations.

“That is the game of football, it has controversies, we have different opinions and that’s why I share them here. And often they cause a reaction from other referees.”

In other news, a rising star has headed to Tottenham after permission is granted for a move.