Hackett demands FA reform amid latest Salah cheat storm at Liverpool
The FA must introduce an independent review panel to adjudicate on “possible dives” like Mohamed Salah’s for Liverpool on Saturday.
So says ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the Reds’ 3-0 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Norwich’s Todd Cantwell and Salah challenged for a bouncing ball in the area with the score at 1-0 on 33 minutes.
The Egyptian forward tumbled to the floor before a VAR check quickly ruled that the incident did not warrant a penalty.
Salah, however, was not booked for simulation despite the fact there appeared to be little contact between the two players.
Hackett proposes that an FA-led panel should be established to properly punish potential dives.
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He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “If the referee is going to caution a player for an act of simulation, he has to be 100 per cent certain that is the case.
“What I would prefer to happen is that we have a review panel for when incidents like this happen.
“The FA should organise it so a manager, a player and a referee review it on an incident-by-incident basis.
“One of the difficulties with Salah is that his movement is very quick. This is why he often gets accused of diving.
“He takes a light touch and then falls over, that’s what happens here. But I’ve looked very closely at clips where I’ve thought it has been a penalty rather than a dive from Salah.
“It’s difficult for referees. If there is any doubt, it has to go in favour of the player.
“With this, it’s gone to VAR review, they’ve not given the penalty, but there is an element of doubt so they haven’t cautioned him.
“But with the VAR review, you’re being asked to judge whether it’s a penalty or not, not if it’s a possible dive. That’s why there needs to be a panel to judge these things.“