Forest alleges Premier League assigned Luton Town fan as VAR. . .
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Forest alleges Premier League assigned Luton Town fan as VAR for Everton loss.

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Nottingham Forest has accused the FA of appointing a Luton Town supporter to run VAR ahead of their disputed 2-0 loss to relegation rivals Everton yesterday, in which the Reds claimed they were refused three clear penalties.

With the game scoreless at Goodison Park, Ashley Young caught the back of Gio Reyna’s heel inside the area, sending the Reds player to the ground, only for referee Anthony Taylor to wave away the appeals for a penalty. He did so again after the Toffees broke the deadlock, Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross striking Young’s arm, before possibly the most dubious call of all, Young appearing to foul Hudson-Odoi as he looked to collect a pass in the box, Taylor signalling that the ex-Watford man had received the ball.

Stuart Attwell, the official in Stockley Park, did not tell him to modify his decision or even go to the monitor each time. Following the game, the Reds claimed they had previously raised concerns with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) about Nuneaton-born Attwell, claiming he is a Town supporter.

A strongly worded statement on the club’s official Twitter page read: “Three really terrible judgments – three penalties not awarded – which we just cannot accept. We informed the PGMOL before the game that the VAR is a Luton fan, but they did not change him. Our patience has been challenged several times. “NFFC will now consider its options.”

When asked about the rulings and the club’s tweet, Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who saw his team remain a point ahead of the Hatters with only four games remaining, said: “We were aware, and as a club, we filed an official complaint stating that we wanted to modify the VAR situation. They didn’t do it, and the evidence is now available, so it wasn’t good. I share the club’s sentiments since it is more than just this game. We’ve been making bad decisions for quite some time now. It is not an excuse, but we are dissatisfied with the job of the referees.

“I don’t understand the reason and the decision of Anthony Taylor and VAR Stuart Attwell, because I see the images. It’s understandable that we react like this as a club because we want to get things right. We don’t want bad referees. We want good decisions.”

Meanwhile, ex-top flight referee Mark Clattenburg, who was recently named the City Ground’s first referee performance and match analyst, wrote in a Daily Mail column about Attwell, who has never refereed a Luton game before: “Certainly, I would not have risked this situation if I were the head of the referees, and all of this could have been avoided had the PGMOL simply made smarter appointments. These situations were precisely why video equipment was introduced into the Premier League, yet Attwell did not direct Taylor to his monitor. Not once. It was a hat-trick of howls from the refereeing crew and, regrettably for Forest, the continuance of an unjust pattern that has harmed their survival fight.”

 

 

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