Man United news: Ex-Fifa official lambasts referee as controversial Harry Maguire footage emerges - 'where was VAR?'
England should have been awarded a penalty for a foul on Man United defender Harry Maguire in the opening stages of their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday (21 November), according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Maguire was a victim of a “rugby-style tackle”.
In the fourth minute, the 29-year-old was brought down by his opponent as a corner was floated into the penalty area.
Referee Raphael Claus waved away England’s appeals and VAR did not judge him to have made a clear and obvious error.
“The problem is that there was a degree of inconsistency that came into the performance,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“That’s highlighted by the fact Maguire was hauled to the ground with a rugby-style tackle. There was no way that could have been anything but a penalty, even after putting allegiances aside.
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“That was a nailed-on penalty kick and I haven’t heard anybody trying to support that decision.
“At the end of the day, the performance of these elite referees are judged on making accurate decisions on the big calls, the key major incidents and this was one.
“Ok, the outcome was 6-2 at the end so it was less important but a goal at the World Cup is important to the record of that individual.
“The referee should have seen it and for me, it was a clear and obvious error so where was VAR? That’s what VAR is there for, to come in and resolve the big decisions.
“It’s not only an error by the referee but an error by VAR, probably on the grounds of ‘He’s not given it, so we’re not giving it in the VAR room’. He was let down.
“I don’t think it sends a good signal for the tournament as a whole.”