referees' chief discusses var decisions on new premier league show; howard webb shares insight on penalty blunder at old trafford

Former Premier League referee Howard Webb has revealed that officials made a mistake by not awarding Wolverhampton Wanderers a penalty during their match against Manchester United at Old Trafford last month. Webb’s comments come as the Premier League referees’ chief, Mike Riley, explains the decisions made by VAR in the new Premier League show.

During the game on December 29th, Wolves’ Pedro Neto was brought down in the penalty area by United defender Eric Bailly. However, the on-field referee, Michael Oliver, did not award a penalty despite protests from the Wolves players. Webb, who is now the director of referees at Major League Soccer in the United States, believes that Oliver made an error by not giving the penalty.

Webb explained that the incident was a clear foul and that VAR should have intervened to correct the mistake. He acknowledged that VAR could sometimes be subjective, but in this case, it was a clear penalty that should have been awarded. Webb also highlighted the importance of consistency in VAR decisions to maintain the integrity of the game.

In response to Webb’s comments, Riley appeared on the new Premier League show to explain the decisions made by VAR. He stated that VAR’s role is to help the on-field referee make the correct decision. Riley emphasized that VAR is not meant to re-referee the game or undermine the authority of the on-field officials.

Riley further explained that VAR operates on four key principles: minimum interference, maximum benefit, maintaining the pace and intensity of the game, and correcting clear and obvious errors. He clarified that VAR will only intervene if there is a clear error or a serious missed incident.

Regarding the incident involving Neto and Bailly, Riley stated that the VAR team reviewed the incident but did not believe it met the threshold for a clear and obvious error. He acknowledged that opinions may differ on such decisions, but the VAR team believed that Oliver’s decision not to award a penalty was within the acceptable range of decisions.

Riley also stressed that VAR is constantly being reviewed and improved to ensure it enhances the game and maintains fairness. He acknowledged that there will always be debate and disagreement around certain decisions, but the aim is to achieve consistency and accuracy in refereeing.

In conclusion, Howard Webb has criticized the officials for not awarding Wolves a penalty during their match against Manchester United, while Mike Riley has explained the decisions made by VAR on the new Premier League show. The incident highlights the subjective nature of VAR decisions and the importance of consistency in maintaining the integrity of the game.

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