Ex-Premier League referee: Steve Cook should get extended ban as controversial Nottingham Forest footage emerges
Steve Cook should have been sent off as Nottingham Forest lost 3-2 to Fulham on Friday night (16 September), according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Cook denied Willian a clear goalscoring opportunity at the City Ground.
As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, Willian had been played in behind the Nottingham Forest defence by Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Cook was chasing after him and brought the 34-year-old down just outside the penalty area and referee Jarred Gillett issued him a yellow card.
A straight red card would have seen the 31-year-old handed a three game ban meaning he would miss Forest’s games with Leicester City, Aston Villa and Wolves.
“Well, I think what Gillett, the referee, has done is look at the position of the defender on the left and decided that defender has a possibility of a challenge,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
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“He’s got doubt in his mind. The question have got ask is, would that Fulham player have had a shot on goal if he wasn’t fouled? Willian would have had a shot on goal.
“I think this player is very lucky to avoid a red card. I think he’s clear and there is doubt about the other defender coming in to challenge for the ball.
“The referee has thought differently about that. For me, I think he’s taken the soft option and the safe option. Looking at that, I would have expected a red card.”