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Question Number: 33899

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/24/2020

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Broken record moment !

We can chalk of a goal for a foot that just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (the Olivier Giroud offside), yet, a foot squishing itself all over an opens leg is not a red.

While I see zero intension by Lo-Selso in this moment to stomp on the opponent leg, in comparison to other VAR reviewed similar incidents - it is surprising he remained on the park.

Possibly the apparent reasonably low degree of force and pace may have helped, and what seemed to be a loss of balance as Lo-Selso himself seems to realise what is happening and possibly tried to lessen the impact.

So the broken record bit - why oh why could Ref Oliver not look at the sideline monitor and judge for himself.

I wonder if PMOL (I probably have that acronym wrong) are counting down the weekends to the end of the season, so they can reset the framework of how VAR is used (to make such a dramatic change now and have the CR look at monitors would be an admission to getting that part wrong).

Also makes the recent Maguire incident seem incidental in comparison.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
As ref McHugh states, the PGMOL already announced that this should have been a red card (in fact, in an unprecedented move, they actually did so while the game was still ongoing) and that the VAR back in Stockley Park (in this case David Coote) erred in not calling for a VAR review of this incident. Since he did not call for a review, this would mean that he didn't see it as a clear and obvious error that Michael Oliver did not award a red card.

According to an article in The Wink Report, and a couple of other sites I found:

''[Coote's] verdict on the decision at the time was that Lo Celso was protecting the ball from Azpilicueta, who came underneath him to win the ball.

The Argentine had his leg straight when he 'stamped' on his opponent, but Coote didn't think the action had enough 'intensity or point of contact' to warrant a sending off.

The VAR official reportedly later changed his mind after watching a replay, and conceded a red card should have been issued.

He was also told he should have asked on-pitch referee Michael Oliver to use his pitchside monitor to have another look at the incident.'

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
PGMOL had come out to say that the VAR decision was incorrect and that it should have been sanctioned with a red card.
It was suggested that the reason why the red card was not made in the first place was that Lo Celso had nowhere to place his foot down other than on the shin of the Spurs player and that there was enough intensity to make it excessive force?
I believe one of the fundamental flaws with the Premier League VAR system is the lack of onfield reviews. Reviews and decisions to review on field are left to the VAR official and they seem slow to *change* a decision other than for matters of fact such as the offside foot position, ball hitting an arm etc.
I am also of the view that had Referee Michael Oliver seen the replay he would have gone with red. It is too easy in my opinion for decisions to be placed at the door of a VAR official rather than with the actual match officials. The referee is the person close to the action, can sense the intensity, understands the mood of the game etc etc. It is ultimately the referees game to call and he has to seek assistance and use whatever tools he has to assist him. It would have been easy IMO for the referee here to have said to himself tat there is a possible red card here and I want to have a look at it. As referees we know many times when all is not well in a tackle.
PGMOL has stated that an on-field review should be used for red card decisions and Referee Michael Oliver has done that on the one occasion it has been used in tne past so why it was not done here is unclear to me. As i said Referee Oliver must have had a strong inkling that it was a possible red card here.
Ultimately the VAR official took the rap for this under what was termed human error. Hopefully it brings changes to VAR as it is not working smoothly in the Premier League.

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