PGMOL chief apologises to Everton over VAR gaffe

Tuesday, 1 March, 2022 32comments  |  Jump to last

Mike Riley, the head of Professional Game Match Officials which oversees match refereeing in England's top divisions, has telephoned both Frank Lampard and Bill Kenwright to apologise for the debacle at Goodison Park on Saturday where Everton were not awarded a clear penalty for handball.

Neither the match referee Paul Tierney, who claimed to Lampard that he didn't have a clear view of Rodri's deliberate handball during Manchester City's 1-0 win over the Blues, and Video Assistant Referee, Chris Kavanagh, did not see enough evidence to make the correct decision.

Riley's response to a formal complaint and demand for an apology from the club represents a welcome admission that a significant error was made but where referees have in the past faced some sort of action, Kavanagh looks to have escaped repercussions.

He carried out his duties as the fourth official at the Carabao Cup final the next day and will officiate Burnley's game against Leicester City this evening.


Reader Comments (32)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Mal van Schaick
1 Posted 01/03/2022 at 14:26:56
Apology from Mike Reilly to Kenwright and Lampard. Kavanagh in charge of Burnley vs Leicester on Wednesday.

Not a point though, is it? A joke.

Stan Schofield
2 Posted 01/03/2022 at 14:27:35
An apology means nothing unless it has an associated commitment to action, acceptable to the parties being apologised to, towards reducing the chances of similar incidents happening going forward.

Is there any such action?

Si Cooper
3 Posted 01/03/2022 at 15:31:47
It was obvious that Tierney didn't have a clear view.

Someone said on another thread that the job of VAR is to take the decision-making away from the ref. That is only true when the ref has made a clear and obvious error and for offsides. For marginal calls ,the decision-making should still rest with the on-pitch ref. That is how it operates in other sports.

What is missing from this apology is an explanation for why Kavanagh didn't pass the decision back to Tierney by inviting him to view all the angles on a pitch-side monitor. We also have no details of what Kavanagh said to Tierney.

Despite the apology, there remains more than a whiff of a cover-up, of the refs closing ranks when incompetence (or worse) needs to be exposed for all to learn from.

Jay Harris
4 Posted 01/03/2022 at 15:46:50
It's obvious Kavanagh has an agenda against Everton based on a number of controversial decisions against us. Everyone in the game knows we should have got that penalty but, as others have said, there has been no reprimand for him, just a cover-up dressed up as an apology.
Tony Waring
5 Posted 01/03/2022 at 16:01:26
Jay - what other occasions has Kavanagh been involved which were detrimental to Everton? I ask simply out of curiosity.
Phillip Warrington
6 Posted 01/03/2022 at 16:09:24
So fucking what?!? It doesn't give us the penalty back, if we get relegated by a point, do we say "At least we got an apology"?

The guy should be sacked, he got a clear view of it and still denied it.

Rob Halligan
7 Posted 01/03/2022 at 16:41:26
Big deal. Means fuck all.
Ian Carter
8 Posted 01/03/2022 at 16:41:42
So what then is the point of VAR? If it can't get it right during the game, then why do we even bother to take the freakin time to review it?

I'd rather the ref just make a mistake due to lack of sight than them actually review it and be able to see it and then still not make the right damn decision. It's a joke.

And then I love the apology. Like that's supposed to make us feel better. Fuck right off, refs.

Ray Roche
9 Posted 01/03/2022 at 16:45:52
Tony @5,

Kavanagh was the beaut who only yellow-carded Shelvey in the Newcastle game when a red was the obvious punishment.

Rob Halligan
10 Posted 01/03/2022 at 16:48:10
Tony #5.

Kavanagh was the referee in the Spurs game this season who, after initially awarding us a penalty, was advised by the VAR to look at the pitch-side monitor before overturning his original decision.

He was also involved in the game against Man Utd two seasons ago when the winning goal was given, before again being overturned by VAR because Sigurdsson was sitting on the floor and deemed to be in an offside position because he was in the eye-line of De Gea. Can't remember if Kavanagh was the referee or VAR official.

John Raftery
11 Posted 01/03/2022 at 17:28:44
Riley was one of the worst referees of his generation. Little wonder the organisation he purports to lead is so incapable of maintaining even basic standards of competence. His apology is not worth the paper it is not written on.
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 01/03/2022 at 18:09:57
Nice to get, but pretty pointless. Kavanagh has annoyed us before with very questionable decisions. Sigurdsson on his ass was particularly annoying for me.
John Graham
13 Posted 01/03/2022 at 18:27:16
As stated previously, an apology means nothing unless there is an investigation as to why the penalty was not given and why the referee was not called over to see the evidence and make the decision. If Mike Riley can see it was a penalty then questions need to be asked and Kavanagh needs to be punished.

I hate to say it but this looks like the decision was not made for football reasons but because Kavanagh either has something against Everton or didn't want Man City to lose points.

Maybe he has something against the city of Liverpool; maybe he has other reasons... but for sure he's cheated and he should be punished.

If nothing else happens and all we get is an apology, then it shows VAR is badly flawed and can never work in the form it is now.

Danny Baily
14 Posted 01/03/2022 at 18:36:02
Wouldn't be surprised to see us get a penalty at Spurs now. Probably when we're already 3 down and it means nothing.

Time to drop it now. There's nothing we can do and, knowing our luck, we'd have missed the penalty anyway.

Tony Byrne
15 Posted 01/03/2022 at 18:54:30
Too little, too late.

What would Riley have done if Frank had decided to take his players off the pitch after that pathetic decision? Our gaffer could have told Tierney "What's the point of us attempting to compete".

I believe this should be the stance of the teams outside of the Sky darlings – otherwise, fuck all will change. This cheating has to stop, because that's exactly what it is, nothing else.

Barry Hesketh
16 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:01:54
We'll never know how the game would have panned out, had the penalty been given, we could have missed it, we might have scored and who knows gone on to secure all three points, or City could have got themsleves a winner even if we'd have converted it.

What I do know is that I've never been so angry about a decision in all my time watching Everton at Goodison. Apologies are of no use to the club and it's not VAR that is to blame it is the buffoons who are in the booth operating it.

All that VAR has achieved is to further confuse the paying audience and allow the on field referee to avoid responsibiltiy. If Tierney had given the penalty, VAR would have likely agreed with his decision, the fact he didn't give it - because he didn't see it - should have resulted in Tierney at the very least viewing it on the small screen, why that didn't happen is the cause of alegations of corruption.

Tony Everan
17 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:10:07
Kavanagh is an embarrassment to PGMOL now, his glaring incompetence has been laid bare. We can only hope he has been reprimanded and been put on notice. If he has, it looks like they are keeping it ‘in house’.

It would be great news if he got relegated to the Championship next season. (Unless we are there that is !)

Brian Murray
18 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:24:08
Tony. Graham Poll is still dining out on being a ref and a hopeless one at that and even told lies after the Hutchison derby when he says he blew for full time. Freeze-frame Andy Gray proved not so (on Sky). Ditto the Clattenburg derby was a disgrace. Are their actions any less or worse?
Will Mabon
19 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:26:38
Not good enough. Apology frames the incident as a simple error thereby staving off further examination of the process, or addressing the issue of punishment or compensation.

Unless Kavanagh was experiencing a literal medical problem at the time, then he has a case to answer. If he considers what he saw and his subsequent actions to be acceptable then he is unfit to continue in that role. He should be made to explain. If he is unable or unwilling to do that, then again, he is unsuitable.

Would be nice if the club was to say it wasn't satisfied (accepting the inevitable unspoken consequences).

Will Mabon
20 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:39:05
"We can only hope he has been reprimanded and been put on notice. If he has, it looks like they are keeping it ‘in house’."

Serious point, Tony.

Openness and fairness is (or should be) the number one consideration to sport, not the image or perception of the PGMOL. The worst of shitty political and "Modern" business practices are slithering deeper into the game.

John Keating
21 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:40:02
I have to admit I never wanted VAR and, since its inception, in my opinion, it has ruined the game.

People will say VAR in itself is not the problem, it's the half-wits that use it. That may be true; however, I still think it is ruining the game. The ball crossing the line result is instantaneous; VAR as it stands time-wise is horrendous.

If we take Lampard's statement that Saturday's decision was "incompetence", then that alone should mean Kavanagh should be either demoted for a period of time or binned. The fact that his boss has admitted he fucked up and he has been allowed to referee an extremely important game, especially affecting us, is in itself a disgrace and implies he's above criticism, and fuck Everton.

As many have mentioned, had that happened at the other end, the decision would have been instantaneous. Had it gone against our neighbours, there would have been sackings and points awarded!!

Rob Halligan
22 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:46:50
Chris Kavanagh is the referee at the Burnley v Leicester match tonight. Burnley only need a point to go above us. One or two “Dubious Penalty awards” for Burnley, anyone?
Howard Sykes
23 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:54:59
What is needed is for the discussions between the Video Assistant Referee and the Match Referee should be played over the stadium PA as it takes place. As happens in Rugby and sometimes in Cricket. Nowhere for them to hide their conduct.
David Price
24 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:01:46
When the fuss arose over Van Dyke getting injured by Pickford, the VAR ref was banned for 4 weeks. Ours ref's a game the next night after a Wembley day out beforehand.


Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:07:07
Who was the VAR, David?
Brian Cleveland
26 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:15:10
Bad news, guys… the apology has been rescinded after VAR review...
Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:25:50
I was always taught to admit your mistakes. Look in the mirror and hold your hands up when you're wrong. It's one of the ways you'll improve.

However, this apology has just made me even more angry.

Brian Wilkinson
28 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:28:49
God forbid us getting that apology, they will be coming at us from all corners now, god forbid any player that farts downwind of the ref.

Any dirt that can be thrown at Everton now will be used.

How dare we speak out against one of the Sky darlings and officials.

Christy Ring
29 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:56:19
The apology means absolutely nothing, when neither Tierney and especially Kavanagh have been suspended. Kavanagh being fourth official for the Carabao Cup final on Sunday and in charge of the Burnley game tonight sends out one message, Total Arrogance, and total insult, excuse the pun it means FA.
Barry Thompson
30 Posted 01/03/2022 at 23:05:31
Old mother Riley issues an apology by telephone calls to both Frank & Denise. I wonder if he also gave them an assurance that Kavanagh will play no part whatsoever in any games involving Everton for the remainder of the season?

If no action is taken with regard to Kavanagh's inexplicable decision not to award the penalty, then Riley can shove his apology up his arse as it is meaningless.

It's their fuck up and the only one who has paid the price for it is Everton, so "Sorry about that, chaps, let's just move on" doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

Derek Knox
31 Posted 02/03/2022 at 03:54:16
Totally agree with the above comments. While an apology is at least an admission of error, it is empty rhetoric.

No guarantees that it won't happen again, by incompetent referees, and more importantly, won't redress the lost point or points from previous 'errors'!

Pete Clarke
32 Posted 02/03/2022 at 05:16:19
Just like Niasse being banned for diving, well Kavanagh should be banned for skiving. It's not too late.

As spectators, we are being walked all over by the pricks who make the rules and introduce new systems. We are never consulted or asked for opinions on any of it.

VAR is such a stupid system that breaks up natural play and removes the excitement from the most important part of the game which is goals. I reckon there should be a campaign to get rid of it completely and go back to the ref and two linesmen.

We can accept mistakes in real time. Any serious issues that happened during the game can be dealt with afterwards, just like they (wrongly) did with Niasse.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads