Common sense needed at Cardiff, Liverpool perhaps unlucky to see goal ruled out in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

Viktor Kassai’s bizarre decision in the Champions League captured the headlines during the week, but last weekend saw big talking points at Cardiff, West Ham, Arsenal and Wolves, so Mark Halsey is back to run the rule over the latest batch of controversial decisions…


Lee Probert (Cardiff City vs Leicester City)

On the handball first of all, these are very experienced referees and Lee’s one of our better referees, but we all make mistakes.

You can see Lee’s view is blocked by a number of players so I can understand why he’s given a corner because if you’re not sure you should never guess, as we saw at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

Had VAR been in operation, it would have been nullified because Vardy was offside in the build-up, so had that been given under VAR it would have actually been overruled.

Lee’s come under some criticism which I think is totally wrong. The law is the law, if you take your shirt off you get cautioned but under these special circumstances I think allowances should have been made on this occasion.

Do I blame Lee? I think he could have showed some leniency but I blame the PGMOL management. Someone should have been on the phone to him. I knew someone would take their shirt off if they scored, someone should have said pre-match just turn a blind eye on this occasion.

You could see in his facial expression he didn’t want to do it, he kept it quiet, got his card out and that was it. If he’d been on a booking already would he have sent him off? I don’t think so.


Roger East (West Ham United vs Burnley)

Roger played an outstanding advantage and a lot of referees may have even shown a red card for that challenge.

As a referee, when penalties come your way they’re the ones you want to come your way but why hasn’t the assistant come in and helped him? It was in his area to come in and help Roger but it hasn’t affected the result in the end.


Andre Marriner (Arsenal vs Liverpool)

The offside law seems to change week in, week out. Being in an offside position is not an offence in itself.

Then what you have to judge is if Mane makes a move towards the ball that impacts or interferes with another player that plays the ball. Technically, you can say they were incorrect in ruling it out but then you can argue did it interfere with the goalkeeper who didn’t know which player was going to play the ball?

It’s a situation that under the current law makes it confusing, sometimes they make it up as they go along. Under current laws, you can say they were incorrect but I can understand why it was ruled out. The law is so difficult.


Mike Dean (Wolves vs Tottenham Hotspur)

The two penalties given Tottenham can’t have any complaints. You run the risk making challenges like those and I think both decisions were spot on.


Lee Mason (Manchester City vs Southampton)

The Southampton penalty is the one you want to give as a referee. Easy decision, bang, they all knew it was a penalty and it’s a gift for a referee a decision like that.


Viktor Kassai (Manchester City vs Shakhtar Donetsk)

The additional official is on the wrong side and he’s looking through players, but it’s on Viktor’s side and I don’t understand.

But the assistant referee and the additional assistant are both on the same side, I don’t understand that. Why is not on the other side of the post to cover more bases?

Why do we make things difficult for ourselves? The additional referee then would have been in a great position to tell Viktor it was the wrong decision.



You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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