Home » Referees chief admits error in Manchester City-Tottenham draw

Referees chief admits error in Manchester City-Tottenham draw

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PGMOL chief Howard Webb admits to errors in Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur clash.

PGMOL chief Howard Webb admits to errors in Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur clash

Even weeks after the game, Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Manchester City continues to headline as PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Limited] chief Howard Webb admitted that the decision to stop play following the foul on Erling Haaland while City were on the break was indeed, an error.

Tottenham defender Emerson Royal tackled Erling Haaland who laid it on forward for Jack Grealish. The former Aston Villa man was through on goal as referee Simon Hooper initially played advantage but called for a foul, tracking back play.

This resulted in all the light blue shirts surrounding Hooper who did not bulge and gave the Norweigan striker a yellow card for dissent. The decision continued to polarise opinions well after the full-time whistle but most Tottenham fans should agree that they were a tad bit lucky in that situation.

PGMOL chief Howard Webb admits to errors in Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur clash.
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was understandably unhappy about the ‘foul incident’ against Tottenham in the 3-3 draw.

Here is what Webb told the ‘Match Officials: Mic’d Up’ TV programme via ESPN about that particular incident:

“Yeah, it is an officiating mistake,”

“On this particular occasion, [the referee] sees a pretty strong, reckless foul challenge by Emerson Royal on Haaland. It’s in midfield, and the ball comes backwards.”

“He does the hard work, he just hesitates a moment to see if an advantage is possible. But he recognises in his mind, thinking it through, that it was a strong challenge, it was reckless, he is going to have to caution.”

The acknowledgement of the error raises questions about the impact it had on the overall dynamics of the game and the subsequent reactions from players and fans.

Another refereeing error?

However, as earlier mentioned, the incident spirals into the same thing; Tottenham supporters need to acknowledge that, on this occasion, fortune seemed to favour their side.

Refereeing this season has not been up to the mark and there’s only so much clubs or even supporters can do on that front. The only thing that needs underlining irrespective of decisions going your way or not is the fact that the people responsible are also humans and they are also susceptible to errors.

PGMOL chief Howard Webb admits to errors in Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur clash. Image credits: Optus Sport - Premier League.
Man City winger Jack Grealish could have scored the winner against Tottenham. Image credits: Optus Sport – Premier League.

The acceptance of errors fosters a constructive dialogue around how the sport can continue to improve its refereeing standards, ensuring that the outcome of matches is determined on the pitch by players rather than influenced by officiating controversies.

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Having said that, we cannot have Webb come out after each controversial decision saying it was a tough call to make or it was a mistake. One thing that all clubs would vouch for is consistency in decision-making. Once the Premier League has that, the disagreements over calls taken in the heat of the moment will significantly reduce.

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