‘Poor, poor action’ – Ex-FIFA Ref reacts as Leeds man caught up in major recent controversy

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We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…

Keith Hackett has delivered his verdict on the decision to suspend the officials who missed Nicolas Otamendi’s elbow on Leeds United star Raphinha last week.

CONMEBOL have confirmed that the referee and VAR of last Tuesday’s Brazil-Argentina World Cup qualifier have been banned after failing to punish Argentina defender Otamendi for an elbow on Raphinha [The Athletic].

Raphinha emerged unscathed from the 0-0 draw in San Juan, though he missed Leeds’ 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday owing to illness.

Former FIFA-listed referee Hackett has now offered his view of proceedings and the subsequent suspensions meted out to the two officials in question.

“I think sometimes we don’t get into that area in England and Europe generally,” Hackett told MOT Leeds News. “It’s rare that referees are suspended. It’s happened in the past in other parts of the world with some big calls that were missed. I suppose the biggest one was Maradona’s handball when the referee was sent on the next flight home.

“There are two things – first of all, could the assistant referee have spotted that? I think it’s harsh on the referee, this is more what VAR is for.

“I sympathise with the referee not being able to see it, sometimes you haven’t got the viewing angle, it happens like ‘that’, television exposes it, that’s why we have VAR. For me, it’s VAR that should carry the can, not the referee.

“Ultimately, the referee is in charge of the game, but it’s easy for those people in judgement to look at the video time and time again.

“It’s a poor, poor action by that competition and I feel sorry for the referee.”

In other Leeds United news, Hackett has dropped a concerning referee verdict after what he’s saw from the Whites v Tottenham on Sunday.

Keith Hackett shares referee concerns after Leeds United lose 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur