Clattenburg: Mane was offside – but law must be changed
Mark Clattenburg stole the show back in 2007 with a highly-controversial refereeing display in a Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park and now the former official from Consett has had his say on the latest eventful edition of the fixture.
The Daily Mail quote him as saying:
“I once missed a Dirk Kuyt foul on Phil Neville in a Merseyside derby. I produced a yellow but had I been able to see it again — on a pitch-side monitor — I would have upgraded that to a red.
“At Goodison, referee Michael Oliver should have been told to look at his monitor by VAR David Coote.
“Had Oliver done so, I’m sure he would have sent off Jordan Pickford for his challenge on Virgil van Dijk.
“VAR looked at the incident and decided it wasn’t a red-card offence. I disagree.
“I’ve also heard it claimed Pickford could not be dismissed because Van Dijk was offside — rubbish. Oliver had not blown his whistle by the time Pickford lunged in, so he could still have been punished.
“VAR confirming later Van Dijk was offside does not nullify a red.
“The bottom line is, Coote should have sent Oliver to his monitor. Given Van Dijk was injured, the referee had plenty of time to review the incident.
“Don’t blame VAR — blame the law. Sadio Mane was ruled offside for Jordan Henderson’s goal and the Liverpool captain complained about the camera angle shown on television.
“He suggested officials ‘bend the lines’ to make it offside. At the risk of ruining a good conspiracy, I’m afraid that isn’t the case!
“It’s like watching a horse race in your living room — you may think your horse has won, then the photo finish shows you lost.
“We see a certain angle on television and that can trick you into thinking someone is onside.
“But the technology used by VAR is designed to draw lines that are parallel on the pitch. It triangulates a picture that, rest assured, is not crooked.
“After that, it’s about finding the players’ furthest points forward. Mane’s was his sleeve — as per the new rules — and that was rightly measured against an Everton foot. So the Liverpool striker was indeed offside, but this doesn’t sit right with me.
“Our beautiful game is about goals and we don’t want to see those ruled out by a millimetre here or there. It is the law that needs to be looked at, rather than the application of VAR.”