Exclusive: Ex-referee chief blasts VAR ‘incompetence’ for selective interventions in Liverpool and City games

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Keith Hackett has questioned the refereeing calls provided by Paul Tierney throughout Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham at the weekend.

VAR did not get a let off either from the Englishman following what appeared to be a gross lack of communication between the operators at Stockley Park and the on-pitch official.

“We were treated to a terrific game between Spurs and Liverpool today,” the former PGMOL chief told Empire of the Kop.

“Sadly, the focus is on the question of why Harry Kane was not red carded.

“Well, the challenge was reckless with excessive force and it endangered Harry Kane’s opponent. He made the challenge off the ground and one foot forward.

“Tierney in defence of his decision to issue a yellow card can only be put down to the fact that his vision was impaired with Kane’s body covering what the viewers were able to see on replays.

“That side-on view afforded the VAR at Stockley Park was clear that Kane’s challenge fulfilled the criteria for a red card.

“Incompetence from the VAR who did not see or determine that the yellow card issued to Kane was a clear and obvious error.

“Tierney later in the game was close at hand when Liverpool’s Andy Robertson kicked out at his opponent.

“Here it was difficult to understand why Tierney’s judgment determined wrongly that he would issue a yellow card. It was a red card offence and thankfully corrected by VAR when Tierney was advised to take another look at the pitchside monitor.”

It’s yet another game that has damaging consequences on the sport, with the 77-year-old pointing out that the individual game itself had been overshadowed by contentious officiating calls and mishaps.

“Instead of talking about the game we are discussing the delivery of accurate decisions, promised when VAR was introduced. The PGMOL need to review their advice to their referees,” Hackett added. “Newcastle United fans in their game versus Manchester City are asking rightly why VAR did not intervene when the City goalkeeper wiped out one of their players and no penalty kick was awarded.”

READ MORE: Specsavers take the mickey out of VAR after dreadful officiating of Liverpool clash

It’s a game fans will be tempted to consider a point gained as well as points lost in light of what potential ramifications Andy Robertson’s sending off could have had on proceedings.

Nonetheless, it does raise serious questions around both the quality of officials on the ground and the ability of those to manage VAR away in the distance.

Kane’s tackle, in particular, was objectively a red card decision – one of several that could have potentially changed the game for us.

But, more seriously, it was a challenge that, as Jurgen Klopp rightly pointed out, could have threatened the health and safety of our left-back.

Rightly, we expect more from the combination of technology and referees.

Fouls, indirect free-kicks and match-fixing: Liverpool vs. Inter Milan 1965

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  1. Precisely. If Tierney’s vision of Kane’s challenge is impaired (clearly it was through the whole game), that is why he SHOULD go look at the monitor. I have said this for many years, it would be good to have ex-pro’s become ref’s because Tierney clearly has not played a competitive game in his life. VAR is not the problem….it is those occupying the seats at Stockley park, wanking while they should be officiating.

  2. Isn’t it about time VAR moved with the times and a decision is scrutinised and discussed openly and properly as in Rugby where then officials are more accountable .

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