Crystal Palace may have benefited from 'secret' VAR intervention

By Keith Hackett

9th May, 2022 | 1:39pm

Ex-Premier League referee: VAR may have made 'secret' intervention as controversial Michael Olise footage emerges from Crystal Palace

VAR may have made a secret intervention to award Crystal Palace a penalty in their 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday (7 May), according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee admitted he did not care how the decision was made as long as it was the right one.

As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, referee Graham Scott delayed his decision to award a penalty after the ball struck Hassane Kamara’s hand after a header from Michael Olise.

Wilfried Zaha converted from the spot to score the game’s only goal and confirm Watford’s relegation from the Premier League.

The win for Palace lifted them to 10th in the Premier League table.

“These are the secret signals that we need to make public in order to maintain credibility,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“It’s handball, it’s a penalty kick. The ultimate thing for me was Graham Scott, the referee, got the decision to correct. How he got that decision doesn’t necessarily worry me as he’s got the correct decision.

“If that’s intervention by the assistant or VAR whispering down his ear, I don’t really have an issue.

“Or in his own mind, he’s taking his time to get an accurate decision.

“The assistant should raise the flag if they are making the decision. That’s why I’m saying we’re getting secret signals, not seen to the public.

“If the assistant referee has indicated to the referee that is handball then he should do with a strong raised flag.”

In other news, Crystal Palace are racing a Premier League rival to sign a 25-year-old after a release clause reveal.