Ex-Premier League referee: Officials 'manufactured' Gabriel Martinelli offside as controversial Arsenal footage analysed
Gabriel Martinelli’s goal for Arsenal in their 2-1 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday (9 April) should not have been ruled out, according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed the decision to disallow it for offside was “manufactured” because VAR was taking so long.
Martinelli, 20, thought he had scored for Arsenal when he nodded in from a yard out following a corner towards the end of the first half.
As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, after a lengthy VAR review the goal was ruled out for offside.
“This one took forever,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.
“It was almost like they were looking for ways to rule the goal out. Just get on with it. It’s a goal, move on. They are being too forensic.
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“I would’ve allowed the Martinelli goal just to stand, no question.
“I don’t want an official time clock but if I was the boss of the PGMOL there would be one off-camera. I’d put 30 seconds on it and if there’s no answer, carry on.
“If I was the boss I would want these decisions to be made much quicker than they are currently. They are hunting for faults.
“It’s such a tight call. Have they manufactured a decision because it takes such a long time. ‘I’ve been on it for a minute, I’ve got to say something to justify coming in’.
“It’s a nonsense. Technology doesn’t cover it. It’s not a clear and obvious error so move on. The goal should have been allowed.”