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Latest Howard Webb “explanation” only drops Premier League refereeing into deeper mess

In the final seconds of the potentially crucial Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on March 10th, with the score standing at 1-1, referee Michael Oliver did not award the home side a last-gasp penalty after City winger Jeremie Doku slammed his studs into the chest of Alexis Mac Allister into the box. Sitting in the VAR room, Stuart Attwell checked the situation briefly and confirmed the on-field decision.

The moment understandably sparked debate. And while the majority of voiced opinions said the penalty should’ve been given, there was some understanding for the officials from those who don’t see it as quite that clear, mostly because Doku did touch the ball too.

And just as the noise died down, with even the most passionate Liverpool supporters filing the controversy under “refereeing mistakes” and moving on, PGMOL chief Howard Webb saw it necessary to provide an explanation, and, rather needlessly, brought a lot of the attention that had mostly evaporated, back to the problem.

“If the referee gives it on the field, it would have been a check complete by the VAR and equally, having not given it, it’s also check complete,” Webb said in the latest edition of the Premier League’s Match Officials Mic’d Up.

“You hear Michael Oliver say the balls in between two players going together. The ball is too low to head. Doku, lifts his foot to play the ball, and he does make contact on the ball.

“And yes, we know there’s some contact on Mac Allister as well, Mac Allister comes into him, Mac Allister is not really playing the ball either. So, I understand why it’s split opinion.

“I think it would have been ‘check complete’

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