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.”
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.