VAR commanders with no authority in the Premier League are astonishingly over-ruling referees, it has been claimed.
Former ref Mark Halsey has learned VAR Andy Madley was told by commander Adam Carter NOT to award Manchester City’s Phil Foden a blatant penalty against Southampton last week.
On-field ref Jon Moss was not asked to review the incident on the pitch side monitor with a view to changing his original ruling, leaving boss Pep Guardiola to slam the decision as “incredible”.
Halsey’s worrying claim will put the spotlight on Carter, who has never been a referee.
Halsey, a Prem ref from 1999-2013, said: “I have been informed by reliable people involved in officiating about what is happening at Stockley Park regarding VAR decision-making.
“The incident involving Phil Foden and Alex McCarthy was not deemed a penalty by on-field referee Jon Moss.
“I have been told VAR Andy Madley thought it was a penalty and was about to recommend a review when Adam Carter got involved and told Madley that’s not a penalty.
“The match commander should not be making decisions during a game.
“Adam has never been a referee, he’s been an analyst.
I feel for the officials in this situation. Now I know why VAR is all over the place and has drawn criticism.
“I understand the incident at City has been the talk of officials across the leagues over the past week. It makes me wonder, has this happened before?
“I feel for the officials in this situation. Now I know why VAR is all over the place and has drawn criticism from managers, players and fans for its inconsistency and rightly so.
“The proof is in the pudding over how it has been operated for the last two seasons.”
Play continued at the Etihad without a review in City’s 5-2 win over the Saints.
The incident also led to Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness furiously criticising the officials.
He said: “They just make it up as they go along.
“It is nonsense and they make themselves look stupid.”
VAR match commanders are allowed to be at Stockley Park with VAR officials, as was the case when Neil Swarbrick had an animated chat with Stuart Attwell in Leicester’s win over Wolves in November.
But they should not be involved in the decision-making.
In Germany, VAR project manager Hellmut Krug was removed from his position in 2017 amid claims he had influenced decisions in Schalke’s game with Wolfsburg.
Krug denied he had any influence but lost his job days later.
Carter, who was previously an assistant analyst at the PGMOL, is one of three matchday commanders – the others being former top-flight referee Swarbrick and former assistant ref Mike Mullarkey.
The Premier League has sent out a survey to clubs to canvass their opinions on VAR.
It includes the question ‘to what extent do you support or oppose the use of VAR in the Premier League?’.
One club source told us: “Do they really need the answer to that? We all know it’s not working.”
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