Manchester United

Keith Hackett has claimed VAR commanders may have overruled officials in Chelsea’s clash with Manchester United in October.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former head of the PGMOL delivered his verdict after Mark Halsey made a similar accusation about an incident in Manchester City’s game with Southampton earlier this year.

Halsey revealed to the Scottish Sun Adam Carter had told VAR official Andy Madley not to award a spot-kick when Phil Foden was challenged by Alex McCarthy.

It comes after the Daily Mail reported Maguire’s controversial clash with Cesar Azpilicueta last year is one of the clips being sent to Premier League clubs as they begin discussions on how to improve VAR.

Asked for his assessment of the incident, Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “First of all, he’s grabbed him round his neck.

“We’re playing football here. That starts with f-o-o-t. The goalkeeper can handle, no-one else can.

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“Maguire’s grabbed him round, it’s an obvious penalty. It’s not a difficult one and the only reason he hasn’t given it is he lacks the viewing angle or he hasn’t got any courage.

“They’ve got the VAR and his brief is to come in on a clear and obvious error. If he doesn’t think that’s a clear and obvious error, then I think it goes back to the next level which is the relationship that exists between VAR and the referee.

“What we’ve had recently is we’ve had this alleged comment from Mark Halsey, former Premier League referee in the Sun, saying that the guys in charge of VAR or people in the room are interfering. I wonder did that happen on this occasion? In such an obvious decision…

“In the case mentioned by Mark Halsey an analyst told the VAR referee to not give a penalty kick. I worry about it. It’s an outside influence.

“I’ve not seen any post-comment from the PGMOL denying that so that says it’s a doubtful area.

“They messed up and Chelsea can feel well aggrieved with that decision.

“What will Harry Maguire do now? He’s got away with one, he’ll do another.”

In other news, a finance guru has revealed Manchester United have been hit by an £85million blow as a new commercial deal breaks down.