By Nick Ware

3rd Sep, 2021 | 4:10pm

Keith Hackett delivers verdict on Darnell Furlong controversy in West Brom win v Peterborough

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

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett suggests the throw-in controversy created by West Brom defender Darnell Furlong may lead to a rule change.

Furlong, 25, has caused a stir among pundits and opposition this season after utilising his long throw-in to great effect under Valerien Ismael, with the West Midlands club already profiting off the tactic numerous times.

A towel has generally been provided to aid the drying of the ball which he then launches into the penalty box, but there was not one forthcoming when West Brom made the trip to London Road last Saturday [28/08/21] to take on Peterborough United.

Instead, Furlong was forced to use a hoodie from a visiting supporter, with a young Albion supporter gleefully handing down the apparatus to him when required, as captured on Sky Sports Football Twitter.

Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson labelled it “ridiculous” and urged the EFL to “do something about it” [Sky Sports].

Ex-FIFA-listed official Hackett delivered his verdict on the incident.

“This comes under, to some degree, competition rules,” Hackett told West Brom News.

“It says in the Premier League that if you’re going to use a towel to dry the ball there’s no objection, providing the towel is available to the opposition as an act of fairness.

“Another aspect of it is delaying the restart has to come into play. The referee has to be aware of the tactical move and if this is a means of delaying the game. Is the player taking too long because this player didn’t walk to the fan with the ball, he sort of took the jacket then walked to the ball, dried it then walked back with the ball in his hands to the young supporter.

“I think the referee should have intervened. If that happened in the first half, at half-time I’d be asking both managers to come to my dressing room and say ‘right okay, we’ve got a scenario here of a hoodie being used, the hoodie is not available to both teams, I can see that is unfair’. If there is some difficulty, wet conditions and the ball needs to be dried then towels have got to be made available to both teams, you can’t use the hoodie.

“The Championship has to revisit this whole scenario and say one, are we going to allow this in fairness or two, are we going to send out a memo to all the clubs saying in these scenarios we’re quite happy for a towel to be used providing it is not used as a time delaying tactic.

“The referee can do something about it because he can write a letter or pick the phone up and speak to the competition, the English Football League, and say ‘this is unfair’.

“It is unfair.”

In other West Brom news, Joseph Masi shares claim on Matheus Pereira payment plan between Al Hilal and Albion.

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