VAR officials admit 'human error' as Giovani Lo Celso avoids red card vs Chelsea
PGMOL attribute mistake to "human error by video officials"; No retrospective action possible as is reserved for incidents "not captured by the match officials or VAR"
Last Updated: 23/02/20 10:51am
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.
"Everybody knew they'd made a mistake," said Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. "We obviously have the monitor and can view it. I was waiting for the red card to be shown. Not with real pleasure because it's just a tackle which endangers a player. That's what VAR was brought in for, to see things the referees on the pitch side don't see. And it's just 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.
Lo Celso will not 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."
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.
"He could quite easily have snapped his shin. That's why VAR was brought in and that's absolutely shocking. No excuse, no defence for that whatsoever."
And fellow Sky Sports pundit Sue Smith added: "It's an awful challenge. In my opinion he has to go for this. It's late, it's high. He could break his leg here. Le Celso is very lucky for that."