Luke Shaw says he’s very confused as to why Manchester United weren’t given a penalty in this afternoon’s encounter with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The incident happened in the first half when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball in the area and the VAR called play back a few seconds later.
In a post-match interview with Sky Sports, Shaw sensationally admitted he overheard the referee explaining why he had not given the spot kick to Harry Maguire: ‘The referee even said to H [Harry Maguire], I heard him say, “If I say it’s a pen it’s going to cause a lot of talk about it after,” so I don’t know what happened there.’
Shaw also asked why the referee had stopped the game if it was not a penalty. ‘I don’t understand why he’s stopped it, if he was going to stop you’d think that maybe he was going to give a pen, because we had the ball, we was attacking.
‘So it’s confusing with this VAR because if it’s not going to be a pen then they might as well just carry on the game, they might as well not stop the flow of the game’.
🗣 "I don't understand why he stopped the game if it wasn't going to be a pen."
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 28, 2021
The idea that the referee might have decided against giving a penalty for fear of what would be said afterwards – presumably on social media and by journalists and pundits – is troubling and shocking. Quite simply, the referee should call the decision he believes is correct, regardless of how it might be perceived.
It also suggests that Mr Attwell had Jurgen Klopp’s January comments about United penalties in the back of his mind. The Liverpool manager famously said ‘Man Utd had more penalties in two years than me in five-and-a-half years,’ and many believe that this has influenced officials against United in subsequent games.
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