Pundit calls on Premier League referee to be sacked after missing ‘worst tackle in years’
Garth Crooks has called for Premier League referee Stuart Attwell to be sacked after he failed to send off Manchester United’s Marcel Sabitzer for “the worst tackle I have seen in years”.
Sabitzer got away with a high challenge on Leicester City defender Wout Faes without as much as a caution during the Red Devils’ 3-0 win on Sunday.
VAR obviously did not think it was worthy of a second look for referee Attwell, who had a perfect view of the incident, which he did give a free-kick for.
Many fans believe Sabitzer was lucky to remain on the pitch. The Austrian did not follow through on Faes, perhaps saving him.
While fans, especially of the Leicester contingent, have been left fuming, BBC pundit Crooks actually thinks the decision from Attwell was so poor that he should be sacked.
“Premier League referee Stuart Attwell should be relieved of his duties,” a fuming Crooks said.
“He allowed Manchester United’s Marcel Sabitzer to remain on the pitch after the worst tackle I have seen in years and without so much as a caution.
“What made matters worse, Attwell then booked Leicester City’s Nampalys Mendy, having made not one, but two, perfectly legitimate tackles.
“Of course, it is the referee’s opinion that ultimately matters, but if a top-class official cannot distinguish between a ‘career-threatening tackle’ and two perfectly legitimate challenges, then that referee has no business officiating in the top league in the world.
“Top professional players deserve referees who know the difference between a good and a very bad tackle.”
Should Attwell lose his job, he would be the second Premier League official to leave their post in the space of a week after VAR operator Lee Mason left by mutual consent.
A Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) statement read: “PGMOL can confirm that Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason has departed the organisation by mutual consent.
“We would like to thank Lee for his dedicated service to the professional game and wish him all the best for the future.”
Mason came under fire after he ‘forgot’ to draw the lines for Ivan Toney’s equaliser for Brentford against Arsenal on February 11.
Bees midfielder Christian Norgaard was in an offside position before setting up Toney, thus denying the Gunners a crucial win.
This was the second costly error Mason has made this season after he wrongly advised a Newcastle goal to be disallowed during a draw against Crystal Palace.
The weekend of Premier League football prior to Mason’s departure was full of controversial decisions.
Brighton were also cost an extra two points after VAR operator John Brooks denied the Seagulls a goal against Crystal Palace by drawing the offside lines on the wrong player.
PGMOL released a statement apologising to Arsenal and Brentford after they were both denied wins.
Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi praised chief refereeing officer Howard Webb’s transparency, honesty and approachability after he visited the club’s training ground last Thursday.
However, the Italian head coach was high in criticism of referee Darren England after his side’s home defeat to Fulham on Saturday.
De Zerbi was given a red card after the full-time whistle and insisted during his post-match media duties that he would not be wasting his time with further meetings with Webb.
He said: “If you want to come to me to have a meeting and if you want me to lose two hours of my time, of my work, you have to have a different attitude on the pitch.
“If you want to improve football, they have to be with another attitude, only this.
“And I don’t want to speak about a particular situation, it was a penalty or other things. I am speaking only of attitude.
“One time I lost time with the meeting and it will never happen again. I am not in England just to be fooled around by the meetings.”
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