VAR officials at Stockley Park have admitted they made a mistake over the decision to not send off Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
The Spurs midfielder avoided either a red or a yellow card after catching Cesar Azpilicueta on the shin with his studs, appearing to go over the top of the ball when making the challenge.
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Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have attributed the decision to human error by video officials. David Coote was the VAR on duty at Stockley Park for the game.
Lo Celso picked up a yellow for a challenge on Mason Mount in the 82nd minute.
“I hate to call for red cards but that is a leg breaker,” Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told BT. “VAR is here to clear things up and it is not good enough.”
Chelsea won the game thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso, with Antonio Rudiger scoring an own goal to give Spurs a late consolation.
It is not expected that Lo Celso will face retrospective action for the challenge despite the admission of the error.
Under PGMOL rules, retrospective disciplinary action is reserved for incidents “not captured by the match officials or VAR”.
Azpilicueta: It was a clear stamp
Azpilicueta was surprised the challenge from Lo Celso did not even yield a yellow card because he felt a “clear stamp on his shin”.
“I’m not a player that likes to be on the floor because I’m tough but it was not my fault because it was a clear stamp on my shin, I felt it straight away,” Azpilicueta said after the match.
“I was surprised it was not a red card, not even a yellow card. Obviously everybody makes mistakes but when you have a lot of replays it could be easier.”
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Le Tiss: No excuse, no defence
Sky Sports pundit Matt Le Tissier described the decision as a “joke” on Soccer Saturday.
“It’s an absolute joke. He’s stamped on him with no intention of playing the ball,” he said.
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