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Former top referee rules on controversial Leeds v Newcastle incident

4 months ago

Keith Hackett has taken a look at a controversial incident during the Leeds v Newcastle match on Saturday afternoon.

As well as having been a former top Premier League referee, Hackett was also the one-time boss of PGMOL.

Otherwise known as the Professional Game Match Officials Board, basically head of the referees union.

Keith Hackett giving his call on an incident in the later stages of the game at Elland Road.

After Jonjo Shelvey had given Newcastle a 75th minute lead with the help of Leeds keeper Meslier, whilst Leeds desperately tried to get back into the game, it was the visitors who ended up with a number of decent situations to get the killer second goal.

The best of all these situations was when Allan Saint-Maximin was clearly fouled by Robin Koch in the Leeds penalty area with 85 minutes on the clock, winning a penalty…only for it not to be given!

Looking on, you couldn’t believe how the referee Chris Kavanagh hadn’t given the penalty, as it was so clear, then you waited the break in play and for VAR official Kevin Friend to direct Kavanagh to look at the pitchside monitor to put right his mistake…that never happened either!

For Keith Hackett there was no question: ‘This was a penalty. This is a foul, it’s inside the penalty area. Only one course of action – Award a penalty kick. It’s nailed on.’

You then see decisions in other matches involving ‘certain’ other clubs and it is just unbelievable how many decisions involving referees and VAR that haven’t gone Newcastle’s way this season. The Jota one for Liverpool at Palace was incredible on Sunday, he kicks the ball and then changes direction so he runs into the Palace keeper and gets a penalty. Yet that one when Ederson absolutely took out Ryan Fraser at St James Park wasn’t given.

Keith Hackett further reacting to Allan Saint-Maximin not getting this decision at Leeds, calling it: ‘Incompetent officiating.’

A lot of Newcastle fans want to call corruption and / or some sinister plot specifically aimed at Newcastle United.

I don’t think it is anything along those lines but I believe there is certainly a problem, whereby the self-appointed elite clubs seem to get a far higher proportion of decisions going their way, than the rest of the clubs, including and especially Newcastle this season.

I think it feels like there is some subconscious problem at play, where especially the VAR officials will look intensely for a reason to try and give the likes of Liverpool and Man Utd a decision, whilst the opposite for most other clubs. A recent match at Old Trafford saw Villa score what looked a perfectly fine goal, only for Var to spend almost four minutes looking for a reason to rule it out, which they eventually did on a really weak basis. Something that you just know pretty much any other team wouldn’t have got in the same position.

What of course makes it all the worse is another two elements.

The referee and VAR official pretty much never come out afterwards and try to justify these decisions we are seeing.

Also, there appears to be rarely, any punishment for referees and VAR officials for getting decisions so badly wrong.

Keith Hackett via Twitter:

“This was a penalty.

“This is a foul, it’s inside the penalty area.

“Only one course of action – Award a penalty kick.

“It’s nailed on.

“Incompetent officiating.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 22 January 3pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)




Shelvey 75

Possession was Leeds 63% (64%) Newcastle 37% (36%)

Total shots were Leeds 13 (8) Newcastle 15 (9)

Shots on target were Leeds 4 (1) Newcastle 3 (1)

Corners were Leeds 6 (4) Newcastle 7 (3)

Crowd: 36,405 (2,690 Newcastle)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Trippier, Lascelles (Clark 69), Schar, Dummett (Manquillo 63), Shelvey, Willock, Fraser, Joelinton (Sean Longstaff 42), Saint-Maximin, Wood

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Lewis, Hendrick, Murphy, Almiron, Gayle

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)

(Match Report – Danger at the turnstiles for Newcastle fans but no danger of giving up this lead at Leeds – Read HERE)

(Marcelo Bielsa blames himself and match officials after Newcastle United beat Leeds United – Read HERE)

(Eddie Howe reacts to essential away day win at Leeds – ‘Heroic’ players and ‘Brilliant’ fans – Read HERE)

(Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s massive win! Read HERE)

(Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – The fightback now begins with brilliant gutsy NUFC victory – Read HERE)


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