We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive West Brom columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…

Keith Hackett has claimed that officials are correct to intervene when goalkeepers come off their lines at penalties in the Premier League.

West Brom were outraged when Sam Johnstone was penalised after initially saving Bruno Fernandes’ penalty in the 1-0 defeat against Manchester United.

Despite Johnstone only being inches off his line, Fernandes was allowed to retake it and score; something that Hackett claims was correct.

Speaking exclusively to West Brom News, Hackett said, “They did change this law recently.

“So, I don’t think they will change it again. What was said, they want the goalkeeper to have contact with the line when going forward.

“As a group of referees, we would expect as a group to act on a substantial movement forward, which is potentially a yard at the speed at things work.

“Now, the lawmakers are trying to use words that give little leeway for a match official, and therefore often you’ve got the movement of the goalkeeper, but they fail to detect infringements by forwards or defenders.

“The intervention was correct in law, so that’s the state of play.”

West Brom


We all still remember that game at Old Trafford, and especially that decision to allow Fernandes to step up once again to score the winner.

Johnstone was literally off his line by a blade of grass, and the magnifying glass came out to penalise the stopper and give him zero chance of saving the retake.

Hackett claims that officials agreed that it would take a movement of a yard, and this was nowhere near that.

If the linesman can’t see a clear gap between the keeper and the line, why should technology come in and save his mistake? It clearly wasn’t an obvious error.

Hackett believes it was the right decision, but it was a definitive answer.

In other West Brom news, Keith Hackett has responded to claims WBA are treated unfairly


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