Referee chief issues apology to Everton over VAR penalty error vs Man City

PGMOL managing director Mike Riley has issued a personal apology to Frank Lampard after Everton were denied a penalty in their defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

The 57-year-old refereeing chief contacted Lampard and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright to apologise for the decision. Referee Paul Tierney and VAR referee Chris Kavanagh dismissed the Everton appeals despite a lengthy review in which various angles showed Man City ‘s Rodri appearing to control the ball with his arm.

Footage showed Rodri using his upper arm to cushion a bouncing ball in the Everton box. It came moments after Phil Foden had given City an 82nd-minute lead at Goodison Park.

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Everton submitted an official complaint to the Premier League on Monday. Sky Sports now claim that the chairman and manager both received calls later in the day to address the issue.

Toffees’ first team coach Ashley Cole was shown a yellow card by Tierney for his continued appeals at full-time; Lampard vented his frustrations in an emotive post-match interview with Sky Sports.

“There is no doubt, there is no probably to it,” he said when asked if Everton should have been awarded a penalty.

“The decision is incredible, incredible, and that loses us the opportunity to get what we deserved.

“That’s a VAR call. That’s Chris Kavanagh, I spoke to the referee and they know it is a penalty, the question is that is it offside and it wasn’t.

“That’s the reason we have VAR. It wouldn’t have needed more than five seconds to know it was a penalty. He [Kavanagh] should have either told the referee to give it or told him to go look at it.

“We’ve lost a point because of a professional who cannot do his job right. You start searching for whys and I can’t think why. It is so incompetent to get it wrong.

“Pep [Guardiola] will know, Everton fans will know, Man City fans will know, it was the clearest penalty you could give: arm is out — great, below the sleeve — great, I was waiting for the penalty.

“Incompetence at best, at worst who knows? I’ll wait for the statement or apology they do when things are wrong but it will mean nothing.”

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City boss Guardiola admitted on Monday (February 28th) that the incident should have seen Everton awarded a penalty.

Guardiola said after the game on Saturday that he thought it had not been given as the VAR Chris Kavanagh spotted an offside against Richarlison just before the incident. But the Premier League later clarified that there was no offside, and that Kavanagh had decided there was not enough clear evidence that the ball had struck Rodri above the level of the armpit, which is the border for handball.

He was asked whether the decision could have an effect on the rest of the season, both for City chasing the Premier League title, and for Everton fighting relegation.

Guardiola replied: “Entire season? Can this episode affect a whole season? I will review a lot of incidents. It looks offside for Richarlison, if it’s not offside it’s a penalty.”

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