Former referee Dermot Gallagher has claimed that David Coote made the right call after he took a penalty away from West Brom in their game against Manchester United after consulting VAR.
Conor Gallagher was felled in the United box by Bruno Fernandes early in the second half and Coote initially pointed straight at the penalty spot.
He later changed his decision after using the pitchside VAR monitor and Gallagher believes the referee made the correct call.
"There is contact, there's no doubt about that." 👀
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 23, 2020
Speaking to Sky Sports’ Ref Watch segment, Gallagher was asked if he thought it was a penalty and he said, “I think not. I think Fernandes gets the ball. There is contact, no doubt about that but I don’t think it’s contact that would put Conor Gallagher down like that.
“In regards to clear and obvious, if the referee or the VAR doesn’t think it’s a penalty then it is clear and obvious to him. This is the difficulty in defining if it is a clear and obvious error.
“It is very difficult to say to a guy, ‘yeah give a penalty’ when you are convinced in your mind that it’s not.”
These comments are baffling coming from a former Premier League referee.
Fernandes clearly kicks Gallagher’s shin hard enough for him to go down and the United man only gets a slight touch on the ball after he makes contact with the Albion midfielder.
One glimpse at a replay shows that Fernandes clearly gets the ball after making contact with Gallagher which should mean it is a Baggies penalty.
Even former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand admitted it was a penalty and branded the overturning of Coote’s original decision as ‘disgraceful’.
It seems as though this is another case of referees standing up for one another whenever one of their own is criticised.
Or could this be another case of the big club bias that Troy Deeney claimed the Baggies were victims of against Manchester United? Whatever the reason, something needs to change.
How are we going to see consistently fair decisions in the Premier League if referees can’t admit when they get decisions wrong? It is concerning that no one associated with PGMOL is yet to admit Coote made the wrong decision.
We can only hope that a decision similar to the one we saw on Saturday goes in Albion’s favour at some point.