Are referees purposely helping Tottenham to have the advantage over Arsenal for Top 4?

Is Tottenham Being given An Unfair Advantage Over Arsenal In The Top 4 Race by Referees And VAR? by Abuchi Ejimofor

Tottenham secured a vital win in their crucial Premier League clash against Burnley at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Tottenham’s win momentarily takes them ahead of Arsenal on the Premier League table with 68 points from 37 games. The gunners will be up against Newcastle tonight to try and get themselves back into 4th position.

However, Arsenal wouldn’t have been under great pressure to maintain their position on the PL table if referees and VAR have been consistent with their decisions this season.

In the last couple of games, referees and VAR have literally helped Tottenham secure maximum points. You would recall that some controversial decisions went against Arsenal in their crucial game against Tottenham last week.

Controversial penalty decision that went against Cedric Soares, Holding’s red card, and some other wrong calls ruined Arsenal’s chances of earning any point from the game.

As if that damage wasn’t enough, the referee and VAR also made a couple of wrong decisions in Tottenham’s game against Burnley yesterday.

The referee awarded a penalty to Tottenham in the closing minutes of the first half after the ball clearly struck the outstretched hand of a Burnley defender.

This is another show of inconsistency on the part of the referees and VAR. We have witnessed similar situations this season and no penalty was awarded.

Why is Tottenham benefitting from wrong VAR and referee decisions at this crucial stage of the season? Is it just a show of incompetence or the referees are purposely giving an unfair advantage to Tottenham in the top-four race?


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  1. What I didnt understand was the ref see the incident clearly yet didnt give the pen until after VAR asked him to have a second look , I cant understand what he saw on the screen being any different from what he saw happen live, it almost feels like VAR is saying “hold on , are you really sure you don’t want to give spurs a pen here”.

  2. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the PL is trying to rig the 4th place for Tottenham. Even Clattenberg talked about this inconsistency in his review of the Arsenal vs Tottenham game. He only stopped short of calling ref Tierney incompetent.

    1. And what about a couple of years ago when Tottenham players had food poisoning yet still had to play. It is just swings and roundabouts some time you win sometimes you don’t just suck it up

  3. This is a good question and nobody is saying anything. It could be that money have exchanged hands and if found to be true , it will be a big slap on British football and more over it will open up so many wrongs that have been going on in English Premiere League for years and being Swept under the carpet. The FA have to open an investigation on this kind of glaring cases that has happened over time this football season.

    1. Basically ben you are saying that you cant take losing and clinging on to utterly ridiculous nonsense for that very reason. Holding should have gone before the elbow on son who he targeted with continuos fouls (including a knee in tha back) cedric pushed son for the penalty and the burnley pen was stonewall

      1. Son had previously elbowed Holding in the face! Son should have not been on the field. I notice the Television did mot replay the incident. That is why Holding was so upset in the first place.

        1. Yeah I saw that, and what Holding did next gladdened my heart. He threw him over like a weightless dumbbell.

          By the way, why does everyone keep repeating that Holding elbowed Son? What I clearly saw was Holding’s SHOULDER. hello!

        2. Holding had obviously been told to target Son , he shoukd have been booked prior to kicking Son in the back , which should have been his 2nd yellow , then he fouled Son again and held him down ,whilst trying to wrestle away , he hit him in the face ,fully deserved ,but yeah he could have been sent off . As for the penalty it was a clear push . As for the handball ,I don’t agree with the Laws on this ,but it was handball , the only shocking thing is the ref missed it , but that is what VAR is for

      2. @rico, Here’s an idea, why don’t you stick to Spurs pages instead of peddling nonsense here?

  4. Are you forgetting the Premier League helped Arsenal out by cancellation of the match against Spurs earlier due to lies of COVID rampaging to your team. When in reality it was due to injuries and players in African League of Nations.

  5. It was obvious. Unfortunately Arsenal didn’t dare to submit a formal complaint, despite having the video evidence

    Let’s not cry over spilled milk and stop crucifying Soares/ Holding/ Arteta, because the team needs our support tonight. Hopefully our 12th player will motivate the team

    1. Well said Gai, Tottenham game is gone let’s just give the players a much needed support tonight. I hope our Frontline and attackers would be clinical and take their chances. If we succeed and win at Newcastle I don’t think Everton would be able to stop Arsenal from top4. I remain optimistic.

      1. Doesn’t matter if we give our players support,
        doesn’t matter if team plays very well, everything depends who is ref.
        About Tierney, there are only to choices
        he was well paid or he is so bad, then should be relegated to much lower division.
        If he took money, should be kick off from ref.

  6. you morons make me laugh, you have to find any excuse after losing to Spurs, if it was the other way round you would be saying definite penalty!

    Holding should’ve been booked twice before he got his first booking, was the referee on the Wanderers side there?

    Stop crying you mugs, Arteta is teaching your team the dark arts pure and simple, it didn’t work this time it went against you.

    Be quiet now………….COYS NORTH LONDON IS WHITE!

  7. When the concept of var was first mooted it was under custody of Blatter and was resisted . FIFA has always reserved the power to influence outcomes by various means . Hence denying football teams the opportunity to challenge decisions made by officials unlike other sports . Whether top or bottom of league table , hundreds of millions dollars are at stake .Should these little people be allowed to go unchallenged? My opinion is the System was built to accommodate those in FIFA who are active in other activities .

  8. Here we go again, it’s not the deadwood players anymore, now it’s the var and the referees.
    I am not dismissing this statement but every single club could point out a situation the refree has gone agaisnt them..
    Spurs has played 9 more games than us. With one more pen.
    I am not sure they are heavily being favored here as claimed.
    Maybe we only feel so because of the tension going on right now.

    1. Thank you the only fan on here who is not a clown. Arsenal fans seem so stupid when they come out with stuff like this, it’s rigged for spurs hahaha RIGGED for spurs. You can’t be serious with that thats poor, basically we are united of the early 2000s yeah hahaha. Sore losing going on here. Like this guy said all teams could blame the refs and var for games throughout the season. To say it’s a agenda from from fifa and var to get spurs top 4 is clutching. Poor article.

      1. For ??
        Saying my opinion or the obvious that Spurs have had more games and one pen than us with more 9 games??
        Which one of them

  9. I asked the ref about the very soft pen V Burnley, he said he decided to help Spurs as he was so incensed at the ridiculous post game interview, by Arteta, trying to blame the ref for what was clearly the fault of Holding and the rest of his team.

  10. None of the decisions in spurs’ favour recently have been crazy, they’ve had a lot of soft calls go their way, but the decisions have been correct, or at least highly defensible. The worst one for me was the Burnley penalty to be honest; it’s harsh but they’re calling these handballs more often recently.

  11. This is the thing, it isn’t just this season. It is every season. At it’s worst, for some reason, refs used to take a good 13-15 points off us by incorrect decisions against. At the same time, they’d give United a similar amount. From 2005 until Ferguson left, they won at least 2 titles they would not have won had the playing field been even.
    Having said that, Holding was very naughty and it was correct he was sent off.
    The worry is that the ref and VAR try to be dirty tonight. All things being equal, we should be able to win. But time and again, we’ve seen it.
    No one could quite work out why they would give us so many poor decisions against. Usually when dirty tricks an dishonesty happen, money is involved somewhere.,
    We desperately need an independent ‘Ref watch’, so as they are accountable for obvious, continual incorrect decisions affecting certain teams.

  12. Hahaha… It’s a conspiracy! The referees want Spurs to get 4th place! Are you for real?? Has your collective memory forgotten all of the extremely contentious decisions that have gone in your favour, the Cedri Soares handball against Man U one of them? And what about getting the game postponed because you had 1 player down with Covid?? Stop whinging – you were outplayed by Spurs. The result had nothing to do with the referee, they would’ve beaten you anyway.

  13. The truth must be told that the Spurs games of late are rigged! Regardless of what some of our Arteta haters say there is a trend here. I wish to state that Spurs was helped to defeat Arsenal. First by a dubious penalty and then a questionable second yellow card for Holding. I can confidently say that if we were even Spurs would not have beaten us. Yesterday’s game between Burnley and Spurs was another glaring case of match fixing by officials!
    Notwithstanding the above, I urge all the Arsenal faithful not to lose heart. We can still make fourth position. The ball is now literally in our court. If we win both our remaining games we shall beat Spurs. There is no room for error.

  14. Perhaps Arsenal should look in the mirror rather than blame VAR or refs.
    Club got rid of everyone they could in January and added no depth. Self inflicted, not VAR or refs.

    The 3 games we lost in a row? We looked unprepared and shabby against Palace and Southampton, Arsenal’s fault not VAR or refs.

    Soundly beaten by spuds 3-0. Holding and Cedric hurt the team, but no one else really covered themselves in glory either.

    VAR and refs aren’t perfect, but not their fault for the position we’re in. Team has not capitalized on opportunities, look no further than the mirror.

    1. Saying we were soundly beaten by Spurs is sheer fiction! If you say we were beaten according to the prevailing situation I will agree with you. I am always realistic and accept whenever we are convincingly beaten which was not the case against Spurs

      1. We lost any control of the game, down 2-0 going into the half with 10 men. Add to that they quickly added a 3rd goal shortly after halftime, and we chased them the rest of the 2nd half.

        3-0 score line and you don’t feel we were soundly beaten? Did the team ever look like overcoming the deficit or knocking spuds back on their heels? Did we ever pin them in their half, did they struggle to link 3 passes together, or play on their front foot?

        That’s why I say we were soundly beaten. I don’t blame VAR or the ref, we were simply outplayed that day, and the score line is accurate in my opinion. Mentally we fell short, and our performance did not match the spuds on the pitch.

      2. David, we were outplayed, outclassed. Nothing to do with ref, just our own doing I’m afraid. Let’s move on and hope for two final wins.

  15. If only we’d shown up against Southampton etc this wouldn’t even be an issue – we should’ve been out of sight! Yes, the officials are poor, we all know that, but if we end up missing out on top 4 it’ll be down to us, nothing else. Luckily, we have one last chance.. let’s hope we take it!

    1. Exactly Sue – we allowed them to be in the position they are now, because of our own incompetence against three clubs we should have beaten.

      1. 👍 I’m tired of all this ‘nobody expected top 4 at the beginning of the season” almost to justify our position now. I’m not having it – it’s been within our grasp for sometime now and if we do manage to screw it all up and miss out then, imo, this season can only be seen as a disappointment

        1. Don’t agree with you. The team has made real progress which every fan can see. Will it be painful if we do t make top 4 after being in that position for a while? Yes. But let’s also acknowledge the fact that there has been some progress this season.

          1. I’m loving the togetherness in the team, but as for goals scored/conceded, brain farts, red cards, losing to teams we really should be beating etc not much has changed since last season.
            It will be painful if we miss out, as no European/Cup distractions from meant we could focus more on the league. Having said that though, the table doesn’t lie, so at least we’ll finish higher than 8th which is an improvement…

            1. Were officials down to losing at Palace , Everton , Liverpool , Man City , Saints
              Home to Chelsea and Brighton ?
              In all those games opposition were simply better
              Didn’t we recently get a pen at the bridge and home to United
              That’s a weird conspiracy

    2. Spot on, Sue!

      Sometimes, we’ve won games because we were by far the better team. Unfortunately, we’ve lost games because we were absolutely dire! That has been the Arsenal story this season. We just don’t know which Arsenal will turn up..

  16. If Holding hadn’t been petrified of Son’s pace and skill, then he wouldn’t have had to deploy tactics that saw him sent off.
    Spuds are getting the run of the green, but in all honesty, not one var decision can be classed as “rigged” – more like inconsistencies that favoured our noisy neighbours, when reviewed.

    1. When arsenal is awarded a penalty do you complain -hard or soft foul inside penalty is evolving and you have to accept it .handball on a stretched arm inside the box is a penalty and I don’t recall when arsenal were denied a penalty to slow their pace to top 4.

  17. Saying we were soundly beaten by Spurs is sheer fiction! If you say we were beaten according to the prevailing situation I will agree with you. I am always realistic and accept whenever we are convincingly beaten which was not the case against Spurs

  18. It seems epl refs are now involved in betting! Investigations should be carried out on them.

  19. Yes, when Arsenal played United and handled the ball in the area at 2-1. That was a decision mate for Tottenham… IF arsenal don’t finish 4th (and lets face it, they should, its in their hands) you seem to setting this narrative that you’ve been cheated out of it, rather than you bottled it… don’t kid yourself, it will absolutely be the latter.

  20. One if the many reason a great footballing nation as England could not have a single referee represented during the last World cup.

    I only hope our team will be motivated enough and rig whatever agenda it is, by beating the toons tonight and giving everton the thrashing of their life, even if it mean sending them down to championship!!!


    1. What are these ‘many reasons’?
      English referee Mark Clattenburg was selected to train for the 2018 World Cup but left the Premier League (for Saudi Arabia) who were unable to replace him in time, one of the main reasons being that none were at that time trained in VAR due to it not being in use in the Premier League.

  21. Several points here. It’s not about spurs or Arsenal but the fact that these mistakes happen. Kaay every single club has the same, that’s right. Davi, they’re calling these handballs more often recently, The question is why are they not called all the time. People make mistakes is not an excuse. If you can hold a game up for five minutes or more then why can something blatant not be ruled on after the game. ie a suspension for elbowing, that way several referees and pairs of eyes will see it happen. This won’t help the team on the ground being offended against but it will make players realise you will not get away with it and therefore will be less fouls. Anyway get behind the team or get out. Gai lead the way. COYG

  22. Spuds get soft penalties.We don’t.No surprise there.Other clubs have decisions go against them.Also true.But can they catalogue there’s compared to the amount that go against us.Not even close I’d suggest.

  23. Incompetent and inconsistent? Yes.
    Corrupt? No.
    Refs dont make it easy on themselves but, having said that, their job is incredibly difficult with the level and quality of cheating that now goes on.

    I’d love to see the introduction of a citing committee to dole out retrospective bans for players who dive, run into other players, fake serious injury etc. But I won’t hold my breath as sadly it is now part of the game.

    1. Absolutely correct. There’s inconsistency and incompetence for sure – but there always has been and likely always will be. There isn’t a conspiracy to stop Arsenal finishing fourth. Absolute nonsense.

  24. Ridiculous article.
    Referees and VAR have nothing to do with it.
    Arsenal players mess up as usual when the going gets tough.

    I bet you liked the X Files.

  25. Voyageur has the only post so far that I would have personally been content, EVEN PROUD, to have written.

    Most, though not all, of the others have either effectively called refs cheats OR made thinly veiled suggestion that refs cheat.
    My firm opinion is that refs are inconsistent and lack top quality, generally speaking.
    But I have no time for those who have persecution complexes and those who openly and in libellous fashion allege that refs cheat.

    Those are ridiculous and disgraceful contentions, which I would love to see challenged in a court of law , since JA is a public forum.

    IF any ref took the writers of some of these comments and this JA site itself too, to court for libel, I would applaud, as I am a lover of fair play and refs DO NOT CHEAT.

    WERE I A PROFESSIONAL REF, WITH MY LIVING BEING PUT AT RISK BY FALSE ACCUSATIONS, I would certainly take appropriate legal action!

    1. I’m not dismissing the potential of unconscious bias though Jon. While not corruption, I would like to see the measures that the powers that be are taking to mitigate against a ref having unconscious bias against, or for, certain individuals or teams.

      For example, and I know you are not a fan, I think Xhaka suffers from it whereas I think Kane benefits from it.

    2. One can give an opinion on any SUBJECT, unless one claims it is factual it is free speech.

      I believe that some referees are corrupt, hiding behind the cloak of an organisation that answers to no one.


      1. If a referee cannot control a game by using the rule book, they are corrupt by their incompetence. A rule book that every referee from grass roots is trained by, but, seemingly, does not apply to the PL.

      2. They work together in a closed and secret environment, unanswerable to no one but themselves.
      If that isn’t corruption, that breeds corruption, then what is it actually?

      3. However, other clubs cannot be blamed for the failure of both an individual referee and it’s ORGANISATION, unless one believes they are part of that organisation, which I do not.

      4. Why is the referees association the only organisation that doesn’t have to answer questions regarding both their individual members and the organisation itself – not only after a game, but throughout the seasons?
      Something that they put into place themselves.

      5. Why did the referees association decide to implement var differently to the other European leagues and then have to keep changing the way they viewed said implementation, when it didn’t work?

      6. Why are clubs given the same PL referees over and over again, while other referees are seen very rarely at certain grounds?

      7. Why are ex players not joining the ranks of the referees association?

      8. Why do sky, bbc and bt only play lip service to obvious errors and, rather, scrutinise players actions / reactions to the empth degree?

      9. Perhaps the fa /pl and uefa should take a leaf out of rugby referees, both for discipline, accountability and professionalism?

      10. These are my opinions and until the referees association discuss all the above points at a open meeting with players, pundits, clubs, owners and supporters…. until they do answer questions publicly, corruption and incompetence will ALWAYS be a topic of conversation.

      No. 7 is an open ended question to players and supporters for debate.

  26. Arsenal have had the most of red cards since the 2019-2020 PL seasons. We must have to learn to be more disciple and play with caution to avoid avoidable cards. There are lots of comparisons to justify the inconsistent referees’ and VAR decisions against Arsenal. However, these comparisons are not enough excuse for one to steal because another thief was forgiven or not caught in the act.

  27. Oh come on – conspiracy theories, now? I know tribalism in football is at an all time high but I think everybody needs to grow up a bit. Their penalty at Burnley is a penalty by the rules and we’ve seen plenty given this season. The rule is wrong, but the rule is there and the ref applied it.

    In the NLD the pen may have been soft but technically it is a foul, and Holding was an idiot who was asking to be sent off. Ultimately it just felt like the youngest team in the league struggling a bit with the pressure – it can happen. Anyone crying “Conspiracy” – and there are a lot of them, embarrassingly, needs to stop watching so many youtube videos about the illuminati.

  28. I think the biggest problem for modern sports is the media (Sky and BBC Sports etc.). They publish content in a way that causes friction, debate and controversy at every turn. Just to increase its viewing capabilities. The sponsors love it!

    At the expense of which teams suffer or which clubs benefit, clubs like Arsenal had their time of glory. Pundits love to have scape goats based on popularity. I can bet you that the presenters and panel on sports shows just love to “mouth off” purely to get the public interested in their “Tweets” and to reap the benefits of having more followers. VAR has almost become a brand itself!

    Liverpool can do no wrong. City can do no wrong. Obviously Spuds have a new stadium and may now look like a team for the future (We know they are not, Gooners). Maybe there are some “helping hands” ? The officials/VAR are wrapped up in it creating more controversy which sponsors and sports t.v broadcasters more than happy about.

    The thing is, Arsenal just need to focus within the club and its football whilst avoiding all the bad stuff!

  29. Arsenal probably lost against Spurs because one of our defenders allowed Son to fcuk him completely over. If Holding had remained on the pitch we might have got something from that game. Paul Tierney gave him enough chances but Holding lost control completely and Son played him like a fiddle. I don’t know if he dived for the penalty (most likely did) but Tierney completely ignored Nketiah’s obvious earlier dive.

  30. I don’t think anybody I’d deliberately favouring Spurs. If you play well, you will likely win. Every team will point to one or more matches every season where they feel referee decisions were against them. Statistically top 4 is still in our hands to lose or keep. Let’s win tonight and put the pressure back on Spurs. For your information, there will be referee decisions this night that you will find disgusting be prepared.

  31. Don’t agree with you. The team has made real progress which every fan can see. Will it be painful if we do t make top 4 after being in that position for a while? Yes. But let’s also acknowledge the fact that there has been some progress this season.

  32. The entire PL is fixed, what’s new? The FA and the refs have shown historical hatered for Arsenal, what’s new?
    Too bad they’re more sofisticated than Serie A was before Calciopoli.

  33. Whatever happens,Arsenal will try their best to win the last two games remaining hence finishing top 4 above their better rivals.

  34. This is the outcome of inactivity during the winter transfer window.. We cannot blame referees.. Tot bought Bentacur and Kolusevski and see their contribution for their games.. As long as the so called experts praise players like Elneny etc, we are not good enough.. In short, Tot were wiser than us as far as transfer is concerned.

    We must Stop buying for the future while the club is in dire need of players for present.. Fed up of pursueing useless youngsters like Sambi, Tavares, Saliba etc etc costing us a lot of our valuable and limited resources but not adding anything to our results..

  35. Imagine writing up an entire article about how there’s some sort of Pro-Spurs conspiracy. Arsenal are in the position they’re in because the league it played over 38 matches. That’s it.

    The penalty was because Son got pushed in the back. Anywhere else on the pitch it’s a foul, so it’s clearly going to be a penalty. Is it “soft?” Maybe. But that’s football.

    Holding got sent off because he lost his head. If you’re on a yellow you go about your business and don’t make reckless challenges. Look at Davies. Model professional.

    As far as the Burnley match is concerned, if you think that a ball hitting a fully outstretched arm isn’t a penalty, I’m not sure football is for you. Stonewall pen.

  36. This is ridiculous!
    Spurs gave away a penalty within 5 mins which ruined the 2018 final which was far less nailed on than both pens you’re whining about…. But the bare facts are that Arsenal are not yet deserving of CL football given the capitulations against Spurs and Newcastle! To imagine there’s some kind of conspiracy is frankly rather pathetic. GET OVER IT…
    But Arsenal are young and talented. They will improve. But if Spurs keep Conte and Kane, Arsenal will be chasing shadows for a few more years.

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