Webb says Oliver will be really disappointed with Tottenham error

Tottenham Sutton

PGMOL boss Howard Webb has admitted it was a major error not to award Tottenham a penalty in the north London derby against Arsenal, before VAR’s intervention.

The video review system saved Michael Oliver’s blushes in the final five minutes of Sunday’s match.

Spurs were chasing another goal to cut Arsenal’s advantage late in the game when Declan Rice took out Ben Davies with an attempted clearance after the defender arrived first at the ball.

VAR officials required little time to send Oliver to the screen and referees’ chief Webb gave his verdict of the incident on the latest episode of Match Officials Mic’d Up.

“I know Michael [Oliver] will be really disappointed”. Webb explained.

“He had a really good game. He’s one of our top referees, he’s one of the top referees in the world. He’s been selected for the Euros in Germany this summer, together with seven other English officials. And he had a really, really good game in the way he managed it.

Webb explains VAR errors:

“But I know you’ll be disappointed he misread that in the moment. And we all can misread things in the moment. I did that many times myself. But thankfully we’ve got VAR that can look at these situations very quickly. You’ll hear Jarred Gillett at the VAR check it, stop the game in a neutral zone so nothing else can happen.

“For example, we don’t want a goal scored at the other end and then having to take that away as well. Stop the game as soon as possible. Michael went to the screen, looked at it, quickly saw the error and gave a penalty. And as you say, without VAR this would have stayed as a non-awarded penalty. It would have been hugely controversial. So a really good use of the VAR facility here.”

Webb went on to address the delays in deciding on controversial calls in a month which has seen Nottingham Forest go public with their fury at being denied multiple penalties against Everton, with tight decisions also made in Manchester United’s draw with Burnley and Wolves’ defeat to West Ham.

“I understand when you’re in the stadium, the longer something takes the more difficult it is to accept really,” he continued.

“You want it to be efficient, you want it to be quick. VAR is for clear errors and therefore something should jump off the screen quickly and we should be able to rectify it quickly as well. So we’re always working on being more efficient for the experience of the fans in the stadium.”

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