Ex-Fifa referees and pundits slam VAR after Giovani Lo Celso incident, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Ex-Fifa referees and pundits slam VAR after Giovani Lo Celso incident

Former English Premier League referees and pundits have criticised the video assistant referee (VAR) for failing to send off Giovani Lo Celso during Chelsea's 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.

The Argentine appeared to stamp on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta's shin, but referee Michael Oliver deemed that Lo Celso's challenge did not warrant a red card and VAR upheld his decision.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) justified the decision, saying in a statement: "(It was) not a clear and obvious error because the VAR didn't feel there was anywhere else for Lo Celso to put his foot."

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho claimed he did not see the incident.

According to BT Sport, officials at the VAR hub in London later admitted the decision was wrong and ex-EPL and Fifa referee Keith Hackett took to Twitter to demand those responsible for VAR decisions "update" themselves on the laws of the game.

"Come on David Coote VAR," Hackett tweeted.

"That is a red card every day. It's not a difficult decision. Lo Celso should have received a red card.

"Now I want to know who is the person at the centre of the PGMOL statement. I suggest that he... updates himself on LOTG (laws of the game)."

Fellow former Fifa and EPL referee Chris Foy, agreed, telling the Daily Mail: "I can only assume that David thought Lo Celso had no other place to put his foot.

"In that case, he would not have advised Michael Oliver to go to the screen because it was not an act of serious foul play. That was a misjudgment by David Coote.

"Basically it's human error. It was a clear red."

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was again left frustrated with VAR, saying: "Saying afterwards they made a mistake is not good enough. They had... a couple of minutes they took to try and get it right."

VAR failed to send Harry Maguire off for kicking out at Michy Batshuayi last Monday. He later scored in Manchester United's 2-0 win over the Blues

Several pundits, including Dion Dublin, Andy Reid, Ian Wright, Jamie Redknapp and Peter Crouch all also condemned Coote's call.

Ex-Tottenham and England striker Crouch said on BT Sport: "They make a ridiculous decision.

"We've got to rule out serious foul play, I mean it could have broken his leg, I go as far as to say that... That's something we need to stamp out of the game."

Former Liverpool and England midfielder Redknapp, meanwhile, said that Coote should have been taken out of the hot seat after the London Derby. In the later game, he failed to award Leicester City a penalty for a Kevin de Bruyne handball in their 1-0 loss to Manchester City.

Redknapp said on Sky Sports: "He (Coote) had a nightmare earlier (in Chelsea v Spurs).

"He is not doing much better here. He needed a little rest this evening."