Liverpool news: Pundit slams 'ludicrous' fallout to Diogo Jota controversy after report
Kevin Phillips has blasted the “laughable” decision to drop referee Kevin Friend after awarding Liverpool a controversial penalty against Crystal Palace.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland striker insisted the call makes the situation “even more of a farce”.
As reported by the Daily Mail (1 February), Friend has been taken off Premier League duty for the upcoming round of fixtures.
He instead will referee Cardiff City’s Championship clash with Peterborough.
The decision comes after Diogo Jota controversially won a penalty in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
While Friend did not initially award the spot-kick, he reversed his decision after consulting with VAR official Craig Pawson.
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Phillips insisted it was a “ludicrous” situation made worse by taking Friend off Premier League duty.
Phillips told Football Insider’s Dylan Child’s: “It just makes it even more of a farce.
“Some of the times it has been VAR and some of the decisions have been ludicrous. This, for me, is in that kind of mould.
“How can you punish someone who was actually physically there and was asking for a second opinion? Then they don’t punish the guy behind (VAR)?
“It’s just another laughable situation. I don’t know what the suggestion is really. If you’re going to punish one, you’ve got to punish both. It’s as simple as that.
“It’s another laughable decision.”
Fabinho scored from the penalty spot after the contentious decision.
The Reds’ next Premier League game is at home to Leicester City on Thursday.
In other news, Liverpool holding new talks over out-of-window transfer deal.