Mike Riley must QUIT as refs’ boss after wave of Premier League VAR blunders, says Mark Halsey


MARK HALSEY has called for refs chief Mike Riley to quit after the latest set of Premier League blunders.

Under-fire VAR chiefs admitted they cocked up with THREE penalty errors at Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Everton alone on Thursday night.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has reiterated VAR should be scrapped and former top ref Halsey wants Riley to leave his post.

Halsey said: “Everyone has a shelf-life and the time has come for Mike Riley to step down.

“We have seen a steady decline in the standard of officiating and things are getting worse.

“The implementation of VAR has been a disaster and the buck stops with Mike.

“We need an overhaul and the time is now for change.”

Ex-Fifa and Prem ref Keith Hackett, who was replaced by Riley as the PGMOL manager in 2009, has also called for an overhaul after blasting the Prem’s use of the technology as “embarrassing”.

He tweeted: “I would never question a referee’s integrity. They are incompetent.

“The PGMOL needs a complete change. We are operating VAR in this country against the lawmakers’ protocols.

“It’s frankly embarrassing.”

On Manchester United’s fortunate penalty and Spurs striker Harry Kane also being denied a clear spot-kick at Bournemouth, Hackett fumed: “Never a penalty kick in a million years.

“Such poor decision making, how can they also miss the blatant push on Harry Kane.”

Southampton also won a penalty at Everton although James Ward-Prowse initiated the contact on Andre Gomes.

Fifa has taken over the implementation of VAR from the IFAB and Pierluigi Collina has warned officials they must not show the “wrong kind of solidarity” with colleagues by failing to correct their mistakes.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has demanded that refs give post-match media interviews to justify their decisions.

Mourinho is fuming that Harry Kane was denied a stonewall penalty by on-field ref Paul Tierney and VAR official Michael Oliver in Thursday’s 0-0 draw at Bournemouth after having a goal controversially disallowed in last week’s defeat at Sheffield United.

Asked whether refs should speak after matches, Mourinho insisted: “Yes, it’s very important.

“They are very important in the game. A game is players, managers, referees.

“It would make things much more open, much more clear.

“It would give the referee the opportunity to say ‘Yes, I made a mistake – I feel sorry for that’ or ‘Yes I had incredible performance’ or ‘yes I was perfect’.

“I think they are very important in the game, as important as players.”

Oliver, who was also the VAR official for Tottenham’s controversial defeat at Sheffield United defeat, will take charge of tomorrow’s North London derby against Arsenal.

But Mourinho said: “I cannot speak about it, I don’t like to speak about it.

“I feel free to comment on referees’ performances after the performances but I know I can’t by the legal point of view make any comment before matches.”

And Mourinho revealed that he no longer celebrates goals because of VAR.

He said: “I don’t celebrate goals anymore, because I never know if it is a goal or not a goal.

“Even if I have the feeling it is, but maybe something happened six or seven seconds before that I didn’t realise, and then it is not a goal.”


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